Nelson Mandela, visiting shunned Libya to a hero's welcome, urged the United Nations Thursday to lift sanctions that he said are harming "our African brothers and sisters" and charged the United States with having "no morals" for objecting to his trip.
Chanting, "Mandela, Mandela," thousands of Libyans turned out to greet the South African president, whose trip has elated Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and disappointed U.S. leaders. Libyan children showered Mandela with rose petals on his arrival Wednesday; Gadhafi met him with hugs and kisses.Libyan television showed the two men with fists raised high before they listened to each country's anthem.
"It is our duty to give support to the brother leader . . . especially in regards to the sanctions, which are not hitting just him, they are hitting the ordinary masses of the people," Mandela said in comments broadcast on Libyan TV.
The state-run television declared Mandela's two-day visit "an expression of solidarity with Libya against the conspiracy it is facing."
Mandela said he wanted to show gratitude to Gadhafi for supporting the African National Congress during its fight against white rule in South Africa.
Mandela drove across the border from Tunisia to avoid violating U.N. sanctions imposed in 1992 that ban flights in and out of the North African country. He headed back to Tunisia Thursday in an air-conditioned bus.