26 July 2011

Libya: Parties to Conflict Remain Deeply Divided On Political Solution - UN Envoy

Parties to the crisis in Libya remain deeply divided on how to reach a political solution to the conflict that has raged since February when an uprising flared up in a bid to oust the ruling regime, the United Nations envoy for the North African country, Abdul Ilah Al-Khatib, said today.

"The Special Envoy said it is clear from the discussions in Tripoli today and in Benghazi yesterday with representatives of the Libyan Transitional National Council, that both sides remain far apart on reaching agreement on a political solution," according to a note to reporters issued by the office of the spokesperson of the Secretary-General.

The two sides, however, reaffirmed to Mr. Khatib - the Secretary-General's Special Envoy - their desire to continue to engage with the UN in the search for a solution.

In his meeting with Libya's Prime Minister Baghdadi Al-Mahmoud in Tripoli today, Mr. Khatib once again urged the authorities there to engage in a political process that leads to a political solution that meets the legitimate demands and aspirations of the Libyan people.

Mr. Mahmoud reiterated previously stated positions regarding the NATO air strikes, and against the stepping down of Libyan leader Muammar al-Qadhafi, according to the note.

Libya has been engulfed by fighting since a pro-democracy movement opposed to the regime of Mr. Qadhafi emerged in February following similar protests in Tunisia, Egypt and other countries across North Africa and the Middle East.

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