Path to Libyan peace

(China Daily)
Updated: 2011-06-10 07:59
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As the Libyan crisis worsens and its humanitarian situation deteriorates, China has stepped up diplomatic efforts to promote a timely solution through political means.

China's Foreign Ministry has confirmed that Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi met with his Libyan counterpart Abdul Ati Al-Obidi, a special envoy of the Libyan government, on Wednesday.

Al-Obidi expressed the Libyan government's willingness to accept the African Union (AU) road map and reach a ceasefire, adding that he hopes China will play a role and exert its influence in this process.

This meeting came just days after Zhang Zhiliang, ambassador to Qatar, met with Libya's opposition National Transitional Council (NTC) Chairman Mustafa Abdel Jalil in Doha. On Monday, China sent a diplomat from Egypt to the opposition's headquarters in Benghazi, where he met with Jalil and inspected the humanitarian situation and the property of Chinese businesses.

China also said it would welcome a visit by envoys of the Libyan opposition NTC in the near future.

The turmoil in Libya has lasted for nearly four months and shows no signs of abating. Despite the diplomatic mediations by the AU and Russia, NATO has intensified its air and missiles attacks. In the meantime, there are an increasing number of civilian casualties, which is causing deep concern worldwide.

The repercussions of the Libyan crisis have also spilled over to other parts of West Asia and North Africa, threatening the peace and security of the region.

As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China is fulfilling its international responsibility by providing cash and relief supplies to Egypt and Tunisia, to help the two countries accommodate Libyan refugees who have fled to their borders.

China is considering offering further humanitarian aid to Libya, according to a Chinese foreign ministry official in Beijing.

Ali Tarhouni, NTC's finance representative, has reportedly said that he hopes China will provide humanitarian aid to Libya. "We have to collect resources to support our brothers and sisters in besieged areas and to make sure people in those areas get the help they deserve."

As well as contacting both sides in Libya and joining international peacemaking efforts, China has called for a substantial dialogue or negotiations between the Libyan government and opposition, so as to find a proper political resolution to end the crisis.

Foreign Minister Yang has made it clear that China is willing to communicate with interested parties and work with the international community to solve the crisis through political means.

Prolonged fighting will only cause more bloodshed. An immediate ceasefire is in the interests of both sides in Libya, the region and the international community as a whole.

Attempts to find a political resolution to the Libyan crisis should be given a chance.

(China Daily 06/10/2011 page8)