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)
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

Reports of Mass Murder on Mediterranean Smuggler’s Boat

Boat sailed from Libya with 750 migrants aboard and arrived in Italy with 569 More

Video New Thailand Hotline Targets Misbehaving Monks

Officials say move aims to restore country’s image of Buddhism, tarnished by recent high profile scandals such as opulent lifestyle, drug and alcohol abuse, as well as child sex abuse More

Study: Dust from Sahara Helped Form Bahama Islands

What does the Sahara have in common with a Caribbean island? Quite a lot, researchers say 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.
Astronauts Train in Underwater Labi
X
George Putic
July 25, 2014 7:25 PM
In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid