United Nations:  The roots of a negotiating process are showing in the Libya conflict, UN chief Ban Ki-moon said after talks with top officials from the European Union, African Union and other groups.

Ban on Saturday stressed the need for the international community to give a "consistent message" on a political solution with Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi but indicated the signs of progress.

"While cautioning that an agreement remains a long way from being concluded, the secretary general said the beginnings of a negotiation process are now under way under  the auspices of his special envoy to Libya" Abdul-Ilah Al-Khatib, said UN spokesman Martin Nesirky.

Ban took part in a video conference with top officials from the EU, AU, Arab League and Organization of the Islamic Conference who were meeting in Cairo. He also held telephone talks on Friday with Libyan Prime Minister Baghdadi al-Mahmudi who has said contacts have started with the rebel opposition.

Protests against Gaddafi that erupted in February have turned into a near civil war in Libya with the rebel leaders insisting that they would not agree a ceasefire and talks while Gaddafi remained in power.

"The secretary general said that finding a political solution to the crisis in Libya remains the United Nation's top priority," said Nesirky.

"Each passing day brings more turmoil to the people of Libya, the situation is still very fluid and the front lines keep shifting. It is important that we continue to work together," the UN secretary general was quoted as telling the meeting.

(Agencies)