UN secretary general Ban Ki Moon renewed demands for "an immediate, verifiable ceasefire" in Libya today after Tripoli suggested it is ready to call a halt to hostilities.
Mr Ban said that Libyan Prime Minister Ali al-Mahmoudi had "suggested the Libyan government was willing to have an immediate ceasefire with a monitoring team to be established by the United Nations and the African Union."
He said that a special UN envoy would now travel to Tripoli for "negotiations for a peaceful resolution of the conflict and unimpeded access for humanitarian workers.
"First and foremost there should be an end to the fighting in Misrata and elsewhere," Mr Ban insisted.
"Then we will be able to provide humanitarian assistance and in parallel we can continue political dialogue."
Mr al-Mahmoudi told Mr Ban over the phone that Nato's bombardment of his country violated the UN Charter.
The Libyan PM said that the ongoing bombing campaign by the Western military alliance had obviously exceeded the scope of the UN mandate and constituted a violation of international law.
Mr al-Mahmoudi also branded Nato's military intervention, codenamed Operation Unified Protector, a "serious and sustained" infringement of Libyan sovereignty and "an aggression against the Libyan people."
In mid-March the UN security council passed a resolution authorising "all necessary measures" to protect Libyan civilians.
But the international community is increasingly concerned that, far from saving lives in Libya, Nato's intervention is serving to prolong the conflict in the oil-rich country.
Nato appears to be rendering crucial support to insurgents whose stated aim is to overthrow the Libyan government, which remains the country's official representative at the UN.
Tens of thousands of people, mostly migrant workers from sub-Saharan Africa, have fled the relatively developed African state since the bombing began.
At least 1,400 people remain unaccounted for since refugee boats started leaving Libya on March 25.
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