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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

UN chief urges all sides to commit to political solution to end Libyan crisis

11 August 2011 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon renewed his call on all sides in Libya to commit to a political process, lamenting the lack of progress in efforts to resolve the ongoing conflict.

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

In a telephone call on Wednesday, Mr. Ban told Prime Minister Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi of Libya that he was “very troubled” that there had been an absolute lack of progress in the efforts to find a politically negotiated solution to the crisis, despite the efforts of his Special Envoy, Abdel-Elah Al-Khatib.

The Secretary-General said all sides must commit to a political process, and urged the Prime Minister to respond constructively to the Special Envoy’s ideas, according to a read out provided by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson.

UN officials have repeatedly stated that a ceasefire tied to transitional arrangements which address the aspirations of the Libyan people is the only sustainable political solution to the crisis.

However, the parties remain divided on how to reach a political solution to the conflict, which has caused an estimated 630,000 people to flee Libya since February and displaced another 200,000 within the country.

Mr. Ban, who is currently on an official visit to the Republic of Korea, also expressed his concern about the loss of innocent civilian lives as a result of the fighting and the lack of medical supplies and fuel, which added greater urgency to the need to address the humanitarian needs of the Libyan people.

Contrary to one Libyan media report, however, the Secretary-General did not say he would invite the Security Council to convene a special session, the read out added.

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