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U.S. thwarts Libyan push for Gaza truce demand at U.N.
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United States thwarted an effort by Libya on Sunday to persuade the U.N. Security Council to call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza after Israel launched a ground invasion, diplomats said.
Several council diplomats told reporters that the U.S. refusal to back a Libyan-drafted demand for an immediate truce at a closed-door emergency session had killed the initiative, since council statements must be passed unanimously.
The text by Libya, the only Arab member of the council, expressed "serious concern at the escalation of the situation in Gaza, in particular, after the launching of the Israeli ground offensive" and called on all parties "to observe an immediate ceasefire."
It was not immediately clear what the final text would look like, but diplomats said it would probably be an informal statement summing up what all members of the council agreed -- including that the fighting should stop as soon as possible.
"I expect it won't have a hard call for an immediate ceasefire or a withdrawal of Israeli soldiers," one diplomat told Reuters.