UN chief set to name new Libya envoy after rare contentious search

By REUTERS
June 17, 2017 22:47
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UNITED NATIONS, June 17 - United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was set to name a former Lebanese culture minister as 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, according to a letter seen by Reuters on Saturday. 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 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. US 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." 


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