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Libyan crisis far from political solution - UN envoy

RIA Novosti

07:33 27/07/2011 UNITED NATIONS, July 27 (RIA Novosti) - Opposing sides in the Libyan conflict are far from reaching a political compromise but they say ready to discuss the possible solutions with the United Nations, UN special envoy to Libya Abdul Al Khatib said.

Former Jordanian foreign minister held talks on Monday and Tuesday both with the government of Muammar Gaddafi and opposition leaders during his two-day trip to the oil-rich African country, which has been caught in a grip of a severe political crisis since mid-February.

"It is clear from the discussions in Tripoli today and in Benghazi yesterday, with representatives of the Libyan Transitional National Council (TNC), that both sides remain far apart on reaching agreement on a political solution," UN press service quoted Al Khatib as saying.

The Libyan authorities continue to reject calls for Gaddafi's ouster and oppose NATO bombing of their country, while the opposition forces demand that the longtime dictator step down unconditionally and be tried for his anti-democracy policies.

Al Khatib said, though, that both sides expressed willingness "to continue to engage with the United Nations in the search for a solution to the crisis."

An international military operation "to protect civilians" in Libya began on March 19 following a UN resolution and has been extended until September.

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