CAIRO, Egypt (AP) — Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak flew to Libya on Thursday to see Col. Moammar Gadhafi after obtaining an exemption to the U.N. air embargo against Libya.
Mubarak was accompanied by several ministers and a medical team on the flight, which Egypt billed as a trip to check on the health of Gadhafi, who had a hip operation Monday.
It was the first time the U.N. sanctions committee had given approval for such a flight — waivers are generally made for humanitarian purposes only, U.N. spokesman Fred Eckhard said today in New York.
The air embargo was imposed in 1992 after Gadhafi refused to hand over two Libyans suspected in the 1988 bombing of an American airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland, that killed 270 people.
Mubarak’s visit was not announced ahead of time and Egypt’s official Middle East News Agency only reported his arrival as Libyan television started its live broadcast.
Since the surgery Monday, Gadhafi, 56, is reported to be in good condition and resumed normal work Wednesday, the Libyan official news agency, JANA said.
Mubarak has visited Libya many times since 1992 but has always driven across the Egyptian-Libyan border.