5 March, 2011
Comunicas.- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has proposed including former U.S. President Jimmy Carter in his intended peace mission to Libya, Mexican media report.
Inspired by the recent ouster of authoritarian regimes in Tunisia and Egypt, opponents of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi are demanding an end to his 42-year rule. More than 2,000 people have been killed in clashes that began in the North African country on February 15.
"Carter may well become part of the international mission to resolve the situation in Libya," Chavez said on Friday in Caracas at a meeting of the Political Council of the Bolivarian Alliance (ALBA). "This is a man of goodwill, as Fidel Castro has repeatedly said. Moreover, he played a positive role in resolving the situation in Venezuela in 2002."
Nobel Peace Prize winner Carter acted as a mediator in negotiations between the Venezuelan government and the opposition in 2002, helping to resolve a political crisis that could have plunged Venezuela into civil war.
Chavez has instructed his foreign minister, Nicolas Maduro, to make contact with Carter and inform him of ALBA's proposal.
ALBA was founded by Chavez and former Cuban leader Fidel Castro in 2005 and now comprises nine members - Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Dominica, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Antigua and Barbuda.
Chavez's mediation plan has been criticized by the U.S. and French governments, while Russia and China have spoken out against any political or military intervention in Libya.