Chinese envoy calls for political settlement to Libyan conflict

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UNITED NATIONS, July 29 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese envoy on Monday called for a political settlement to the Libyan conflict amid intensification of airstrikes resulting in rising fatalities in the country.

Wu Haitao, China's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, said all Libyan parties should stay committed to the overarching objective of political settlement, and that the Libyan issue must be resolved through political means.

Speaking at a Security Council on Libya, Wu said parties to the Libyan conflict should focus on the interest of their country and people, and respond to the calls of the international community by way of an immediate cessation of hostilities to ease tensions and to return to the track of peace talks and consultations.

Before Wu spoke, Ghassan Salame, UN secretary-general's special representative for Libya, reported 1,100 deaths, including 106 civilians, since the hostilities around the capital Tripoli started in early April.

Salame also said over 5,000 refugees and migrant people are being held at detention centers run by a government agency, in the major transit country for migrants en route to Europe, of which 3,800 are exposed to the ongoing fighting.

The UN envoy put forward a three-part plan of action to end the conflict -- a truce to be declared for Eid al-Adha (an important Islamic festival), a high-level meeting of concerned countries to end the hostilities and implement the Security Council arms embargo, and a meeting of leading and influential personalities from Libya to agree on a way forward.

Gustavo Meza-Cuadra, permanent representative of Peru to the United Nations and current president of the council, told reporters that there is "broad support" for the plan proposed by the UN envoy for Libya, particularly for the holiday truce.

Libya has been struggling to make a democratic transition amid insecurity and chaos ever since the fall of former leader Muammar Gaddafi's regime in 2011.

The instability resulted in a divided country, with the UN-recognized administration overseeing the west and a rival government in the east. Each is backed by an array of militias and armed groups fighting over resources and territory.

In early April, the Libyan National Army, a force allied with the east-based government, started an offensive on the capital Tripoli. Enditem

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