ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - The African Union (AU) is planning to facilitate talks to help end the conflict in Libya between the government and rebel forces, it said on Friday.
“The AU action is ... aiming at facilitating dialogue between the Libyan parties on reforms to be launched to eliminate the root causes of the conflict,” the union’s commission chairman Jean Ping told a meeting in Addis Ababa, adding that the process should end with democratic elections.
It was the first statement by the AU, which had rejected any form of foreign intervention in the Libya crisis, since the U.N. Security Council imposed a no-fly zone last week and began air strikes on Libyan military targets.
“It is important that we agree on such an approach in order to ensure lasting peace, security and democracy in Libya,” Ping told the meeting, attended by representatives from Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi’s government, the opposition, the United States, France and the United Nations among others.
“We have to be forward-looking in our meeting and not split hairs with controversies relating to differences that have ruined our relationship in the past. We have to be pragmatic as to identifying the actions we can undertake together,” he said.
U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told the Security Council on Thursday there was no evidence Tripoli was complying with U.N. resolutions.
He said his special envoy to Libya had warned Gaddafi’s government of possible “additional measures” if Libya failed to comply with its ceasefire demand.