Gadhafi Urges Africans to Stop 'Begging'

By KHALED AL-DEEB, Associated Press Writer Mon Jul 4, 7:20 AM ET

Photo: Libyan leaer Moammer Gadhafi chairs an African summit amid
global calls to combat poverty in...

SIRTE, Libya - Amid global calls to combat poverty in Africa, Libyan
leader Moammar Gadhafi called on African nations to stop "begging"
during the opening Monday of an African summit attended by more than
50 leaders from this crisis-wracked continent.

Gadhafi also urged African countries to overcome past failures during
a rambling speech that lasted more than 30 minutes, which received
muted applause from leaders of African states.

"Pleading to the G-8 to lift debts won't make a future for Africa,"
said Gadhafi, wearing his traditional African dress while praising
Africa's natural resources and treasures. "We need cooperation
between the big and the small countries in the world."

"Begging won't make a future for Africa," he added.

Nations Secretary-General <>Kofi
Annan and Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa also attended the
opening of the two-day meeting, held during a series of international
protests and Live 8 concerts ahead of Wednesday's Group of Eight
meeting of wealthy nations at the Gleneagles resort in Scotland

African leaders meeting in Sirte, a coastal city on Libya's
Mediterranean coast, are expected to try to unite and push for at
least one permanent seat on the
Security Council. The summit is also expected to discuss conflicts in
Africa, particularly the Darfur crisis in Sudan, and issue an
international appeal to help the continent battle disease and famine.

The 53-nation African Union was created in 2002 as the successor to
the Organization of African Unity.

Modeled after the>European
Union with an executive commission, a pan-African parliament and a
court of justice, the AU is based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Its focus
is to spread democracy, human rights and economic development across
the African continent.