U.N. chief set to name new Libya envoy after rare contentious search
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was set to name a former Lebanese culture minister as new U.N. envoy to Libya, ending an unusually contentious four-month search that followed U.S. rejection of his first suggestion, APA reports quoting Reuters.
Guterres on Friday officially put forward Ghassan Salame, a professor of International Relations and Conflict Resolution at Sciences-Po in Paris, according to a letter seen by Reuters on Saturday. Diplomats said objections were unlikely and the U.N. Security Council will greenlight the appointment on Tuesday.
The council must agree by consensus on the appointment of special envoys. Traditionally, the U.N. chief informally discusses candidates with the 15-member body to ensure agreement before officially proposing a name.
The search for a successor to Martin Kobler, a German diplomat who has served as the U.N. representative in Libya since November 2015, began in February when Guterres proposed former Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad for the job.
The United States rejected Fayyad because of his nationality. U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley said the United Nations had been "unfairly biased in favor of the Palestinian Authority to the detriment of our allies in Israel."
"In practice ... if (countries) have a significant objection then they usually make it clear before the secretary-general has made the proposal," said a senior council diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity. "So it was very unusual that the United States blocked the Palestinian candidate very late in the day."
Guterres described the U.S. rejection as "a loss for the Libyan peace process and for the Libyan people."
Following that objection, Russia and other council members then rejected a British candidate and an American candidate, said diplomats. Kobler's posting was briefly extended until the end of June.
"Over 20 people were approached and either ruled themselves out – i.e. they weren't available – or they were ruled out ... by one of the Security Council members," the senior council diplomat said.
Libya slid into turmoil after Muammar Gaddafi's overthrow in 2011, with rival governments and armed alliances competing for power. A U.N.-backed government in Tripoli has struggled to impose its authority and has been rejected by factions in the east. The U.N. envoy to Libya has been trying to broker peace.
The political chaos and security vacuum has allowed Islamist militant groups to gain a foothold and human traffickers to thrive. Libya is the most common departure point for migrants trying to reach Europe by sea.
Related news releases
- 12.12.2017Trump to send astronauts back to the moon - and eventually Mars
- 11.12.2017Mayor: Explosion at Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan was attempted terror attack
- 11.12.2017New York 'bomb' prematurely exploded at Manhattan subway platform - UPDATED
- 09.12.2017Trump senior aide Dina Powell to resign early next year: White House
- 08.12.2017Trump: I fulfilled my campaign promise
- 08.12.2017US Congress passes spending bill to avoid government shutdown
- 08.12.2017Ex-South Carolina cop sentenced to 20 years in US
- 08.12.2017Judge orders arrest of former Argentine president
- 08.12.201741 students suffer minor injuries after 3 school buses crash in Kentucky
- 07.12.20173 dead, 15 injured in New Mexico high school shooting
- 07.12.2017B-1B bomber joins U.S.-South Korea drills as tensions escalate
- 07.12.2017Trump urges Saudi Arabia to lift Yemen blockade
- 07.12.2017Wildfires rage across California as thousands flee to safety
- 06.12.2017Trump recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital
- 06.12.2017Trump to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital today
- 06.12.2017Paraguay Congress legalizes planting of medical marijuana
- 05.12.20171 dead, thousands threatened by California wildfire
- 05.12.2017US: Supreme Court allows full enforcement of travel ban
- 03.12.2017Arming PKK/YPG to stop per Trump, Erdogan talk: Mattis
- 03.12.2017Trump says Flynn's actions during presidential transition were lawful
- 03.12.2017Two dead as Honduran army enforces curfew while vote count stalls
- 03.12.2017US Senate passes largest tax overhaul in 31 years
- 02.12.2017U.N. council to meet on North Korea rights abuses, nuclear program in December
- 02.12.2017Trump, on Twitter, says Tillerson will remain as top U.S. diplomat
- 02.12.2017One dead, scores hurt in growing protests over delayed Honduran vote count
- 01.12.2017Nigeria: 4 policemen killed in raid on Fulani area
- 01.12.2017US: Flynn pleads guilty to lying to FBI
- 01.12.2017Flynn prepared to testify Trump directed him to contact Russians
- 01.12.2017FETO suspect at US Consulate gives additional testimony
- 01.12.2017U.S. military to indefinitely delay ban on cluster bombs
- 01.12.2017Honduran protesters, police clash in escalating election crisis
- 30.11.2017White House reportedly plans to sack Tillerson
- 30.11.2017Ex-Twitter worker claims responsibility for Trump's account shutdown
- 30.11.2017US: North Korea will be utterly destroyed, if war comes
- 30.11.2017Trump vows more North Korea sanctions
- 29.11.2017US plans to divest heavy weapons from PKK/PYD in Syria
- 29.11.2017UN Security Council to hold emergency session over N.Korea missile launch
- 29.11.2017Military helicopter crashes in southern Mexico
- 29.11.2017West offers Turkey more than Iran, Russia: Tillerson
- 29.11.2017Canadian students offering hijab kits to victims
- 18.06.2017U.S. welcomes Syria cease-fire, urges opposition to halt attacks
- 18.06.2017Explosion in Bogota shopping center kills at least three, wounds nine
- 18.06.2017Several sailors' bodies found on stricken Navy destroyer
- 17.06.2017Seven U.S. soldiers wounded in insider attack at Afghan base
- 17.06.2017Trump commends Trudeau for boosting Canada’s military spending
- 16.06.2017Trump orders clampdown on Cuba travel and trade, curbing Obama detente