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Italian Foreign Minister Calls For Humanitarian Halt To Hostilities In Libya

Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini
Italy's Foreign Minister Franco Frattini has called for an immediate halt to hostilities in Libya to allow humanitarian aid to reach the population of the war-torn country.

Frattini, in a speech to parliament on June 22, also warned that NATO's credibility is at risk because of recent civilian casualties in the alliance's air campaign in Libya.

NATO has acknowledged that civilians were accidentally killed when a missile misfired in an air raid in Tripoli on June 19.

Meanwhile in Beijing on June 22, the Chinese foreign minister said China recognizes the National Transitional Council set up by rebels fighting to end Muammar Qaddafi's regime in Libya as an "important dialogue partner."

Yang Jiechi made the comments during talks with Mahmud Jibril, the head of the executive board of the Transitional Council, who is on a visit to Beijing.

China is urging a political dialogue to end the conflict in Libya and Chinese officials have recently been meeting with both government and opposition representatives.

compiled from agency reports