China urges Libya to ensure foreigners’ safety

Saturday, February 26, 2011

GENEVA - China has urged Libya to take concrete steps to ensure the safety and legitimate rights of all foreigners in the country, a Chinese diplomat said here.

China is very much concerned about the situation in Libya, said Wang Qun, China’s ambassador to the UN, here Friday.

Internal dialogues are needed for the Libyans to find a political solution to their current problems, he told a special session of the UN Human Rights Council on Libya situation, China Daily reported Saturday.

China hopes that the session would help the Libyans achieve that goal, he added.

The meeting is looking into a resolution that calls for suspending Libya’s Human Rights Council membership and launching an independent probe into alleged human rights violations in the country’s unrest. Libya is a member of the council since May 2010.

Wang said China holds that there is still room for thorough discussions on the issue, and that any actions taken by the special session regarding suspension of a certain country’s right to membership in the council does not constitute a precedent.

A popular revolt has been raging on in Libya to end the authoritarian rule of President Muammar Gaddafi.

Gaddafi insisted that Libya’s uprising was instigated by Al Qaeda terrorist agents and Islamic fundamentalists and vowed to kill opponents of the regime. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon Friday estimated the number of deaths at 1,000.

The violence has caused growing numbers of refugees and displaced people. Ban said that 22,000 people had fled to Tunisia and 15,000 to Egypt.

Governments have also ordered their citizens out of Libya and dispatched planes and ships to help them evacuate.

Gaddafi remained defiant even as the international community prepared tougher measures against his regime with the US enacting unilateral sanctions and the UN preparing to discuss its own measures Saturday.

Filed under: Diplomacy

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