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African Delegation Says Qaddafi Accepts 'Road Map'


Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi

South Africa's President Jacob Zuma says Muammar Qaddafi has accepted a proposed "road map" for ending the eight-week-old conflict in Libya.

Zuma made the announcement after leading a delegation of leaders from African Union states to talks April 10 with Qaddafi in Tripoli.

Zuma also called on NATO to stop air strikes on Libyan government targets in order to give a cease-fire between Qaddafi's forces and rebels seeking to end his rule "a chance."

The rebels have previously said they will accept only an end to Qaddafi's four decades in power. Qaddafi's regime has said Qaddafi will not accept rebel demands that he step down.

Ramtane Lamamra of Algeria, the African Union's commissioner for peace and security, said the proposed road map includes a cease-fire, talks between the rebels and Qaddafi's government, and the delivery of humanitarian aid to those affected by the conflict.

The African Union delegation is expected to travel on to the city of Benghazi to meet with rebel chiefs as part of its effort to negotiate a truce.

The group includes Presidents Zuma of South Africa, Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz of Mauritania, Amadou Toumani Toure of Mali, and Denis Sassou Nguesso of Congo.

In another development, NATO says it has destroyed 25 tanks belonging to Qaddafi's forces.

NATO said 11 vehicles were struck as they approached Ajdabiyah, a town bombarded heavily by Qaddafi's forces, while 14 were hit on the outskirts of Misrata, a rebel bastion in western Libya which has been under siege by Qaddafi's forces.

compiled from agency reports