China calls for bigger UN role on Libyan crisis

Updated: 2011-08-02 22:18


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BEIJING -- China on Tuesday called for the United Nations (UN) to play a bigger role in easing tensions in Libya, as the UN secretary-general's special envoy to Libya, Abdul Ilah Al Khatib, concluded a visit to China on Tuesday.

"As the international community continues to voice a stronger desire for a political solution to the Libyan crisis, the UN should play a bigger part," Wu Hailong, China's assistant foreign minister, said during talks with Khatib on Tuesday.

Wu called on the UN to step up mediation efforts and strengthen consultations with the African Union (AU) and other regional organizations in order to obtain a ceasefire in Libya as early as possible. He also asked the UN to create an inclusive political dialogue and ease tensions in the crisis-torn country.

In a separate meeting with Khatib, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi reaffirmed China's support to a political solution to the Libyan crisis.

China would like the UN and its security council to play a dominant role in the process of resolving the Libyan crisis by political means and appreciates the AU's mediation efforts, Yang said.

Yang called on both sides of the Libyan crisis to give priority to interests of the country and its people and to take the international community's mediation proposal into account. He also asked both sides to adopt a more flexible attitude and resolve the crisis through political means.

"China would like to work with the UN and other parties to make continuous efforts for an early resolution to the Libyan crisis," Yang said.

Khatib, who visited China from Monday to Tuesday, briefed the Chinese side on the UN's latest political proposal on Libya and his recent trip to the north African country.

Khatib travelled to Libya's cities of Tripoli and Benghazi to meet with leaders from both sides of the dispute in late July.

Khatib said that he appreciates China's support, saying that the UN have given great attention to the positive role China has played in promoting a political solution for the crisis.

Khatib said the UN would like to make concerted efforts with the international community to resolve the crisis by political means.

Libya has been in a state of crisis since earlier this year, when rebel groups rose up against longtime Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi after protests calling for governmental reform. The UN Security Council stepped in by passing sanctions and a resolution that allows the enforcement of a no-fly zone over Libya.