'No military solution in Libya'
Malian Foreign Minister Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga said, ahead of the African Union summit, that the consensus among AU members was that there could be no military solution in Libya.
"The heads of state will meet to fine-tune the different points of view. Everybody agrees that there cannot be a military solution.
"Everybody is trying to find a way out and everybody agrees that the solution can only be political," he said as he took a break from a closed-door meeting of AU foreign ministers.
"The time has come to try to find practical solutions. The final objective is to ensure that there is peace and democracy, and that Libyans are able to determine in a sovereign manner those who can lead the institutions they will set up," the minister said.
"We don't take sides: the AU is the only international organisation that can speak to both sides," Boubeye Maiga said.
The AU summit opens in Sipopo city, near the capital of Equatorial Guinea, Malabo, tomorrow.
He would not comment on the decision by the International Criminal Court to issue arrest warrants for Gaddafi, for his son, Seif al-Islam, and for Libyan intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi for murder and persecution.
"Everybody is playing his role ... if the ICC wants to avoid being criticised, it should probably not give the impression that it is playing a political role," the Malian diplomat said.
Monday's court ruling in The Hague was hailed by rights bodies and Western governments on the 100th day of the Nato bombing campaign, but Tripoli rejected the warrants, calling the ruling a "cover for Nato, which is still trying to assassinate Gaddafi".
The court's chief prosecutor said yesterday that if Gaddafi were arrested he would get a fair trial.