Monday, May 16, 2011

Libya calls for 'immediate ceasefire'

Libya's Prime Minister Baghdadi Mahmudi (file photo)

Source: Press TV

The Libyan prime minister says the government is ready to accept a ceasefire should NATO stop its air attacks on the North African country.

Baghdadi Mahmudi said on Sunday that Libya is keen for "an immediate ceasefire to coincide with a stop to the NATO bombardment and the acceptance of international observers," AFP reported.

The premier made the remarks after he met with UN special envoy to Libya Abdul-Ilah al-Khatib, who is on a mission to the African country to broker a ceasefire to put an end to several months of fighting between the loyalists of ruler Muammar Gaddafi and opposition forces.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon had earlier urged Mahmudi to stop killing civilians and called for “immediate verifiable ceasefire negotiations towards the peaceful resolution of the conflict and unimpeded access to humanitarian workers.”

As the UN envoy arrived in Libya, NATO warplanes bombarded several regions including the city of Aziziyah southwest of Tripoli.

Mahmudi has accused NATO of “political assassinations, the unjust maritime siege, bombing of civilian sites and destruction of infrastructure.”

Meanwhile, Britain's chief of the Defense Staff said NATO must intensify its military campaign in Libya to remove Gaddafi from power.

General Richards says although the attacks do not target Gaddafi himself, if he were killed in one of the raids, it would be “within the rules.”

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