Libya: Kobler to be replaced by Ghassan Salame

UN Secretary General’s special envoy for Libya Martin Kobler is expected to be replaced by former Lebanese culture minister Ghassan Salame. The would-be appointment of Salame would end an almost four month search for a replacement after former Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad was rejected by the US as a replacement to the German diplomat.

Salame is expected to officially take up the post at the end of this month at the expiry of Kobler’s term. The term has been extended as the search for a replacement was going on.

The UN has had a difficult task appointing a special envoy for the war torn North African country as he is understood to be the 29th person offered the job since Fayyad’s rejection.

A senior security council diplomat said “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.” Appointments are made on consensus at the UN Security Council.

The outgoing special envoy will be remembered for sealing the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) although he failed to persuade the Tobruk-based House of Representatives (HoR) to approve it.

In another development, General Najmi al-Naqou, commander of the Libyan presidential guard, said they have forwarded “a formal request” to the Security Council, two weeks ago, for them to be exempted from the arms embargo imposed on the country and they are expecting “a positive decision … in the coming days.”

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