UN envoy urges key nations to call for end to Libya conflict

Smoke plumes rising in Tajoura, south of the Libyan capital Tripoli, following a reported airstrike by forces loyal to retired general Khalifa Haftar. [AFP Photo]

The U.N. envoy to war-torn Libya says he has launched "an intensive campaign" for an international conference to deliver a message that the conflict must end.

The move Wednesday comes five months after a rebel commander launched an offensive to take the country's capital Tripoli.

Ghassan Salame warned the Security Council that unless key regional and international countries recognize that only a political solution can ensure 's stability, "the conflict will continue."

Without an immediate end to the conflict, he said, "we are faced with two highly unpalatable scenarios" — a protracted low intensity conflict with more destruction "and a growing transnational terrorist threat" or "a doubling down of military support to one side or the other by their external patrons" that will sharply escalate fighting and "assuredly plunge the entire region into chaos.

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