News / Africa

Libyan Minister Visits Beijing After China Talks With Rebels

Abdul Ati al-Obeidi speaks during a news conference in Tripoli (File Photo)
Abdul Ati al-Obeidi speaks during a news conference in Tripoli (File Photo)
TEXT SIZE - +
Stephanie Ho

China is taking a more active diplomatic role in Libya, where it is pushing for a political resolution to that country’s crisis. Officials Tuesday said the Libyan foreign minister is in Beijing, days after Chinese officials disclosed they have held talks with Libyan rebel forces.

In public, China has not taken sides in the Libyan conflict since it erupted in mid-February.  But while Beijing is still officially holding to its neutral position, officials are taking a more active role in what happens in Libya’s future.  

On Tuesday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Libyan Foreign Minister Abdul-Ati al-Obeidi is visiting China for the next three days.

Hong says the Libyan official will meet Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi to discuss the current situation in Libya and a political resolution to the crisis there.

Hong referred to Obeidi as a special envoy of the Libyan government, which is headed by embattled leader Moammar Gadhafi.

At the same briefing, Hong confirmed that Chinese officials based in Egypt recently went to the rebel stronghold of Benghazi to meet with forces who are fighting Gadhafi.

He says Chinese diplomats went to Benghazi to learn about the humanitarian situation and to look into the status of Chinese enterprises there. He added that Chinese officials, in his words, also “made contact” with the National Transitional Council rebel force.

When asked if China is planning to offer humanitarian aid to the Libyan rebels, the spokesman declined to give a definitive answer. He said he would have an answer after he learned the relevant information.

On Friday, the Chinese government announced its first meeting with the Libyan rebels - between the Chinese ambassador in Qatar and the head of the transitional council.  China’s decision to engage the rebels has been seen as a diplomatic setback for Gadhafi.

Hong also did not directly answer a question about whether China is trying to act as a mediator between the Libyan government and the rebels. Instead, he said only that China is working with the international community to seek a political resolution to the Libyan crisis.

When the United Nations Security Council voted to authorize NATO-led air strikes to stop Gadhafi’s forces from threatening civilians, earlier this year, China and Russia abstained instead of using their veto power. After the air strikes began, China strongly condemned the violence and repeatedly called for a cease-fire.

You May Like

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

36 people are confirmed dead, but some 270 remain trapped on board More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid