Colonel Gaddafi proposed an African-Latin American defence alliance yesterday at an intercontinental summit hosted by Venezuela.
At the South America-Africa summit on Isla Margarita in Venezuela, the Libyan leader joined the host, President Chávez, in calling for an “anti-imperialist” front across Africa and Latin America.
President Mugabe of Zimbabwe and President Zuma of South Africa were among almost 30 leaders from across the two continents present as Mr Chávez sought to promote his socialist policies abroad, urging a new world order that would confront Western dominance.
“The world’s powers want to continue to hold on to their power,” said Mr Gaddafi, who had a white limousine flown to Venezuela to meet him at the airport. He then met Mr Chávez in his trademark Beduin tent by a hotel pool. “Now we have to fight to build our own power,” he said.
The leaders were to agree a range of joint projects in areas including energy, mining and agriculture, with Mr Gaddafi, in particular, expected to sign several accords with Mr Chávez.
Venezuela also stoked the controversy over the Iranian nuclear programme with the revelation that it was working with Tehran to exploit its uranium deposits.
Rodolfo Sanz, the Mining Minister, said that Iran was helping Venezuela to detect resources, raising international suspicions at a time when voices in Israel and the United States are accusing Caracas of helping its ally to evade sanctions on its nuclear programme.