Middle-East

African Union Proposes Libya Peace “Roadmap”

TRIPOLI, April 12 (Xinhua) — Many members of the international community Tuesday threw their support behind a “roadmap” proposed by the African Union (AU) to restore peace in war-torn Libya.

Commenting on the proposal, Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, a member of the AU panel on Libya, said the union was “determined to achieve this goal (ceasefire) to preserve the highest interest of the Libyan people.”

“We are working to find a solution to this complex issue and we are continuing our efforts to overcome this crisis,” he said, adding “there should not be a military solution, a peace dialogue should be launched instead.”

China said Tuesday it appreciates the AU’s peace efforts in Libya.

President Muammar Gaddafi

“We have noted the diplomatic efforts by the AU mediators in Libya in the recent days and the roadmap they proposed to end the crisis,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a regular press briefing.

Hong expressed the hope that the parties involved in the Libya conflict could reach a ceasefire at an early date and resolve the crisis through such peaceful means as dialogue and negotiation.

“Members of the international community should also step up their efforts to promote negotiation and restore peace,” the spokesman said.

Algeria and Cuba on Sunday also called on all concerned parties in Libya to end clashes and launch peace talks as soon as possible.

At a joint news conference in Algiers with his Cuban counterpart Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla, Algerian Foreign Minister Mourad Medelci said they hoped the “fighting in Libya would end and dialogues would be launched soon.”

“Cuba has earlier condemned foreign intervention in Libya,” said Parrilla, who is on a three-day visit to Algeria, adding his country is “concerned about the killing of innocent civilians there.”

The AU on Sunday proposed an immediate ceasefire between disputing parties in Libya, so as to open a humanitarian aid channel and launch a national political dialogue.

The Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has accepted the AU peace initiative. However, the rebels rejected the proposal on Monday because it does not include the exit of Gaddafi and his family from power.

Meanwhile, a U.S. State Department spokesman made it clear that Gaddafi’s departure from power was “non-negotiable.”

“We’ve said it’s our bottom line. It’s a non-negotiable demand,” Mark Toner told reporters, saying that “we believe he needs to depart power, he needs to step down, he’s de-legitimized as a leader.”

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Washington wants to see a ceasefire, too, but that “there needs to be a transition that reflects the will of the Libyan people and the departure of Gaddafi from power and from Libya.”

Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam said Monday it is time to inject “new blood” into the country’s leadership, but “the talk of (Gaddafi) leaving power, that’s truly ridiculous.”

“We are ready to discuss even with the devil, but even the devil should know that there are red lines,” he said.

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