Guterres names new UN envoy for Libya

June 18, 2017 Off By Web Desk

New York (IINA) � United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres named a former Lebanese culture minister as the new UN envoy to Libya, ending an unusually contentious four-month search that followed US rejection of his first suggestion.

Guterres on Friday officially put forward Ghassan Salame, a professor of International Relations and Conflict Resolution at Sciences-Po in Paris, Reuters reported. Diplomats said objections were unlikely and the UN Security Council will greenlight the appointment on Tuesday.

The Council must agree by consensus on the appointment of special envoys. Traditionally, the UN 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 UN 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. US Ambassador Nikki Haley said the UN had been “unfairly biased in favor of the Palestinian Authority to the detriment of our allies in Israel.”

Guterres described the US rejection as “a loss for the Libyan peace process and for the Libyan people.”

Following that objection, Russia and other Security Council members then rejected a British candidate and an American candidate, said diplomats. Kobler’s posting was briefly extended until the end of June.

Source: International Islamic News Agency