Egypt's new Foreign Minister Mohamed al-Orabi called Thursday evening for avoiding escalation of the conflict in Libya after France air-dropped weapons to Libyan rebels.
"All we need to do is to prevent escalation", said Orabi in response to a question asked by AFP on the sidelines of the 17th African Union Summit in Equatorial Guinea's capital, Malabo.
"We need to create a suitable atmosphere for a peaceful solution…perhaps diplomacy should play a role now ," he said, advocating that neither the rebels, nor Muammar Qadhafi's forces be further provoked.
He said African Union Summit participants generally support opening the way for a political solution.
" We are in need of humanitarian aid, and we need to stop civilian deaths, everyone in the African Union supports giving the opportunity for a political solution," the minister said.
Orabi refused to answer a question about Egypt's position regarding Qadhafi, saying that the decision on whether the Libyan leader should step down is one for the two parties involved in the conflict.
"We are trying to develop a road map for a political solution according to terms negotiated by the two parties," he said.
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov asked France on Thursday to provide clarification about the weapons it provided to Libyan rebels.