Tripoli, 28 January 2013:
Mali appears to have been a . . .[restrict]key subject discussed at two separate meetings that Prime Minister Ali Zeidan held with his opposite number from Algeria and the Nigerian president, during the African Union summit in Addis Ababa yesterday, Sunday.
After Zeidan’s talks with Algerian premier Abdel-Malik Sellal, officials said the focus had been on joint border security and illegal immigration. However it was only 15 days since the two leaders had met in Ghadames, along with Tunisian premier Hamadi Jebali, to talk on the same subjects. This encounter was only fours days before the In Amenas attack. It is likely therefore that yesterday Sellal briefed Zeidan on the assault on the remote gas installation and the way it was ended. The two men will almost certainly have also looked at allegations of a Libyan connection to the attack, which range from Libyan-based terrorists providing logistics and communications for the terrorists, to the attack itself actually being launched from Libyan soil.
Zeidan was joined by Minister of Foreign Affairs and international Cooperation, Mohamed Abdel-Aziz for his meeting with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan. According to the Libyan news agency LANA, Zeidan spoke of his concerns about the development of events in sub-Saharan region and of the worsening crisis in Mali, to whose government he has pledged his support. Nigeria is likely to be contributing a significant military contingent to the UN-backed force that the Africa Union has called to be deployed to support the Malian government.