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
- 19.02.2018Tillerson says new sanctions can be imposed on Russia
- 18.02.2018US to work with Turkey on liberated areas in Syria
- 18.02.2018Brazil to form public security ministry to battle rising crime
- 18.02.2018US charges 13 Russian nationals, 3 organizations with alleged meddling in 2016 election
- 17.02.2018Mexico helicopter crash kills 13 on ground in wake of earthquake
- 17.02.2018Helicopter with interior minister, governor crashes into van in Mexico, kills two
- 17.02.2018Flu killed 22 American children last week
- 17.02.2018Mexico hit by major earthquake of magnitude 7.5
- 17.02.2018FBI failed to investigate Florida shooter tip
- 16.02.2018US grand jury indicts 13 Russians for election meddling
- 16.02.2018John Kirby: "Tillerson breaks protocol by meeting Erdogan without translator"
- 16.02.2018Tillerson and Turkey's Erdogan had productive conversation: U.S. spokesman
- 16.02.2018US court says travel ban discriminates against Muslims
- 15.02.2018FBI was warned about Florida gunman
- 15.02.2018Avalanche kills three skiers in France
- 15.02.2018US and Russia dispute over Syria in UN Security Council
- 15.02.2018Any U.S. talks with North Korea would press denuclearization demand: Pence
- 15.02.2018Tillerson wants more cooperation with Turkey on Syria
- 15.02.2018Ex-student kills 17 in shooting spree at Florida high school- UPDATED
- 14.02.2018New US sanctions against Russia to come in near future - US Treasury Secretary
- 14.02.2018Shooting outside NSA campus leaves at least three injured
- 14.02.2018Tillerson stresses need to discuss issue of co-op to reduce threats against Turkey
- 14.02.2018Washington Has No Problem With Turkey's Plan to Rename US Embassy Street
- 14.02.2018State Department: US Ready to Hold Talks With North Korea
- 14.02.2018Several People Injured in Utah Shooting
- 13.02.2018Tillerson: "Turkey's operation in Afrin negatively affected the fight against ISIL"
- 13.02.2018Tillerson visits Egypt's Sisi at start of Mideast tour
- 13.02.2018Trump daughter-in-law hospitalized over suspect letter
- 13.02.2018White House dismisses idea of U.S.-Israel discussing settlement annexation
- 11.02.2018Canadian PM motorcade crashes, police officer and two others injured
- 11.02.2018Ohio police officers were killed while protecting others, chief says
- 10.02.2018FARC suspends political campaigning in Colombia
- 09.02.2018Trump signs deal to end brief government shutdown, increase U.S. spending
- 09.02.2018Qualcomm rejects Broadcom's revised buyout offer, proposes meeting
- 09.02.2018Washington Says Wants to Rebuild 'Complicated' Relations With Russia
- 09.02.2018UN declares new stage in fight against Islamic State
- 08.02.2018Venezuela opposition weighs election run after talks end
- 08.02.2018Trump administration supports US senate version of funding legislation
- 08.02.2018EU could impose blocking regulations if U.S. pulls out of Iran deal
- 08.02.2018U.S. closer to decision on sanctioning Venezuela oil: Tillerson
- 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