Libyan leader backs much criticized Mauritanian junta

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The Libyan leader, Moummar Kadhafi, has thrown his weight behind the military junta in Mauritania, the Mauritanian news agency reported Sunday.

Kadhafi was said to have expressed his support for the junta, which toppled the country’s elected government 6 August, when a Mauritanian ministerial delegation visited him in Tripoli.

The news agency said the Libyan leader assured the military authorities of his support at both the bilateral and multilateral levels, within their common organization of the Arab Maghgreb Union.

Despite the unequivocal condemnation of the coup by the African Union and the European Union, several Arab countries have been moderate in their reactions, while agreeing to meet the junta’s emissaries.

Some other countries had given as a condition for meeting the junta’s delegation the release from detention of the deposed president.

The ousted president was freed from detention and sent to his village on Thursday.

He has since been receiving visitors and granting media interviews, saying in one of such interviews that he remained the country’s only legitimate president.

The Libyan leader’s support for the junta came ahead of the 20 November resumption of talks between the European Union and the government installed by the soldiers.

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