U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has voiced concern over the “unacceptably” large number of civilian casualties in Libya and said that there can be no military solution to the crisis in the country.

Mr. Moon asked all Libyan parties to immediately engage with his Special Envoy Abdel-Elah Al-Khatib and respond positively to ideas presented to them in order to end the bloodshed in the country.

The Secretary General “reiterates his strongly held belief that there can be no military solution to the Libyan crisis. A ceasefire that is linked to a political process which would meet the aspirations of the Libyan people, is the only viable means to achieving peace and security in Libya,” a statement from his office said.

“The secretary general is deeply concerned by reports of the unacceptably large number of civilian casualties as a result of the conflict in Libya,” said the statement.

Expressing solidarity with the Libyan people, Mr. Moon called on all parties to “exercise extreme caution in their actions, in order to minimise any further loss of civilian life.”

Mr. Moon also had a telephone conversation with Libyan Prime Minister Baghdadi al-Mahmudi on Wednesday during which he said he was “very troubled” that there had been an “absolute lack of progress” in efforts to find a politically negotiated solution to the country’s crisis.

He told al-Mahmudi that the UN Security Council member states had reiterated concerns about the continuing loss of life and destruction of infrastructure.

Earlier this week, Russia, India, Brazil and other UN Security Council delegations had expressed concerns about NATO strikes on Libyan state television last month and other attacks that have allegedly killed civilians.

UN cultural agency UNESCO’s head Irina Bokova had “deplored” the NATO strike on Al-Jamahiriya and its installations saying media outlets should not be targeted in military actions.

More In: International | News