Sunday, April 3, 2011

UN concludes meetings over Libya crisis

Libyan opposition fighters are seen on the outskirts of the town of Ben Jawad on March 27, 2011

Source: Press TV

The United Nations special envoy to Libya has concluded two separate meetings with representatives of Libya's opposition forces and supporters of embattled Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi.

The UN envoy, Abdelilah al-Khatib, held the meetings in Libya to end the humanitarian crisis in the North African nation, Xinhua reported.

On Friday night, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said in Nairobi that al-Khatib discussed the crisis with Libyan Prime Minister Al Baghdadi Ali al-Mahmoudi, Gaddafi's representative, and Mahmoud Jibril, representative of the transitional national council which opposes the government.

The UN chief pointed out that he sent the special envoy to the North African caountry for talks with revolutionaries in Benghazi and with government officials in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, to help avert the humanitarian crisis.

"The talks with both parties aimed to end the humanitarian crisis that has forced thousands to seek refuge in neighboring states," Ban told journalists in Nairobi during a press briefing.

"Since the beginning of the crisis 380,000 people have fled Libya and the UN is still searching for a lasting solution," Ban said.

The United Nations also appealed to both sides to provide safe access to Libyan migrants returning back to their country.

This comes as fighting between forces loyal to beleaguered Gaddafi and revolutionaries has intensified in the country.

At the same time, US-led military coalition warplanes continue to pound Libya's major cities.

Gaddafi's forces have killed several Libyan civilians during the fighting and the US-led military alliance has also admitted that its forces have killed dozens of civilians and wounded several others in the ongoing aerial attacks on key Libyan cities.

Last month, the United States, Britain and France launched air and sea attacks on targets in Libya, as part of an international military action against forces loyal to Gaddafi.

Apart from the United States, twelve countries from the European Union are taking part in Operation Odyssey Dawn, which began on March 19 after the UN Security Council imposed a no-fly zone over troubled Libya.

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