The UN special envoy for Libya will pursue discussion on indirect negotiations between Tripoli and the opposition to reach a ceasefire and transition government, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Wednesday.
Ban said Abdel-Elah al-Khatib, a former Jordanian foreign minister, will be in Tripoli next week to try to engage Libyan authorities and the opposition Transitional National Council in indirect negotiations to achieve a transition for the North African nation.
Ban said both Tripoli and the council that represents rebel forces fighting Moammer Gaddafi’s troops have agreed to work out a ceasefire and the transition through al-Khatib, who has travelled to Libya seven times already.
Al-Khatib met the council representatives in Doha on Tuesday, Ban said in remarks to the African Union in Addis Ababa on Wednesday.
‘Both parties reiterated their continued commitment to work through my special envoy,’ Ban said. ‘The next step will be for my special envoy to engage the parties in indirect negotiations in an effort to define the nature of the transitional period.’
Ban informed the AU summit that he had a lengthty telephone conversation with Libya’s Prime Minister Al Baghdadi Ali al-Mahmoud Tuesday, during which the minister raised his ‘deepest concerns’ about NATO’s intensified bombings of his country in recent days.
He said he reminded the Libyan minister of the ‘urgent need for a real ceasefire’ that can be verified in Libya and for Tripoli to hold serious talks aimed at forming a transitional government.
Ban said the transitional government should fully meet Libyan people’s ‘aspirations.’
Ban and his envoy have been trying to implement UN Security Council resolutions to end the fighting in Libya.
He praised the AU for working with the UN the settle conflicts in Africa, including the recent election dispute in Ivory Coast.
‘Despite some speculation about differences, all of us, without equivocation, condemned the violent events,’ Ban said in the address.
‘All of us recognize the legitimate aspirations of the Libyan people for freedom, democracy, respect for human rights, dignity and justice.’