St. Petersburg, Russia (CNN) — Tensions between the United States and Russia over coalition airstrikes in Libya broke back into the open Tuesday, with Moscow calling for an immediate cease-fire to protect civilians and Washington saying that the claims of Libyan casualties were Gadhafi lies.
BEIJING – China called Tuesday for an immediate cease-fire in Libya where the U.S. and European nations have launched punishing airstrikes to enforce a U.N. no-fly zone.
All parties must “immediately cease fire and resolve issues through peaceful means,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said at a regularly scheduled news conference, citing unconfirmed reports that the airstrikes had caused civilian deaths.
China was one of five countries that abstained from last week’s vote on the U.N. resolution to allow “all necessary measures” to stop Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi’s assault on rebel-held towns. It was approved with the backing of the United States, France and Britain.
– Brazil calls for ceasefire in Libya (Reuters):
SAO PAULO (Reuters) – The Brazilian government called late on Monday for a ceasefire in Libya, where air attacks by the United States and its allies sought to stop the advance of Muammar Gaddafi’s forces on rebel-held towns.
The goal of a ceasefire should be to protect civilians and pave the way for dialogue between the Libyan government and its opponents, the Foreign Affairs Ministry said in a statement made just hours after a visit by U.S. President Barack Obama to Brazil.
“After regretting the loss of lives because of the conflict in the country, the Brazilian government hopes that an effective cease-fire be implemented as soon as possible to allow the protection of civilians and the start of dialogue,” the statement said.