UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed former Jordanian foreign minister Abdelilah Al- Khatib as his special envoy to Libya, a statement issued by Ban's spokesman said Sunday.
The new special envoy is "to undertake urgent consultations with the authorities in Tripoli and in the region on the immediate humanitarian situation as well as the wider dimensions of the crisis," the statement said.
Al-Khatib "will come to New York in the next few days before taking up his responsibilities in the region," the statement said.
"The secretary-general is deeply concerned about the fighting in western Libya, which is claiming large numbers of lives and threatens even more carnage in the days ahead," the statement said.
Earlier on Sunday, Ban spoke with Libyan Foreign Minister Musa Kusa, "and strongly appealed for an end to the hostilities and for full compliance with (UN) Security Council resolution 1970," the statement said.
The resolution 1970, unanimously adopted by the Security Council on Feb. 26, imposed sanctions on Libya, including an arms embargo against Libya and travel ban and asset freeze directed at Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and his key family members.
"The secretary-general discussed the increasingly troubling humanitarian situation, in particular the plight of migrant workers, and called on the authorities to ensure the safety of all foreign nationals and unhindered access for humanitarian organizations to people in need," the statement said.
In this regard, he suggested the immediate dispatch of a humanitarian assessment team to Tripoli, a request that was agreed to by the foreign minister," the statement said.
In his telephone conversation with the Libyan foreign minister, "the secretary-general called on the authorities in Tripoli to uphold their responsibility to protect the country's citizens and to heed the Libyan people's legitimate aspirations to live in dignity and peace," the statement said. "He urged the authorities to consider the best interests of the Libyan people, and listen to the united voice of the international community."