|Chen Xiaodong (R), director general of the West Asian and North African Affairs Department of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, meets with Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC) foreign affairs representative Ali Essawy in Benghazi, Libya, July 6, 2011. (Xinhua/Amru Salahuddien)
BENGHAZI, Libya, July 6 (Xinhua) -- A senior Chinese diplomat in charge of the North African affairs visited the Libyan opposition bastion of Benghazi Wednesday, urging a quick political solution to the country's conflicts.
Chen Xiaodong, director general of the West Asian and North African Affairs Department of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, met with officials of the Libyan opposition National Transition Council (NTC), including deputy head of the NTC executive office Ali Essawi.
Chen said China is deeply concerned over the four-month-long Libyan crisis, which has thrown the Libyan people into great sufferings and has intensified the turbulence in the region, noting that the current situation should not be prolonged and a political solution to the crisis should be achieved as quickly as possible.
Chen added that China called on both sides to give priority to interests of the country and the people, and peace and stability of the region, and to launch substantial talks on ceasing hostilities and future political arrangement, as well as make a positive response to the mediation proposal of the international community, including the African Union.
Chen Xiaodong noted that China has attached a great importance to the NTC's role in solving the crisis and considered it as "an important dialogue partner".
The NTC officials praised China's efforts in advancing a peaceful solution to the Libyan crisis, and agreed that political negotiation is the final outlet for the Libyan problem.
They also expressed their willingness to strengthen ties with China, and reiterated the pledge to take necessary measures to protect the safety of Chinese people and the property of Chinese businesses that remain in areas controlled by the NTC.