United Nations appoints new envoy to Libya; United States objects

Tripoli: Palestinian diplomat Salam Fayyad has been appointed as the new UN special envoy to Libya and the Head of the UN Support Mission in Libya. The appointment was announced on Saturday by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley. Reuters

United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley. Reuters

The US, however, objected to the choice of Fayyad, saying the US was "disappointed to see a letter indicating the intention to appoint the former Palestinian Authority Prime Minister to lead the UN Mission in Libya", Xinhua news agency reported.

"For too long the UN has been unfairly biased in favour of the Palestinian Authority to the detriment of our allies in Israel," US envoy to the UN Nikki Haley said. The US objection was condemned by the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, with its member Hanan Ashrawi saying the objection was "unconscionable".

"We hope that saner voices will prevail and the US will take back this irrational and discriminatory decision immediately and not deprive the UN of such a highly qualified individual," Ashrawi said in a statement.

Fayyad, 64, was the Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority from 2007 to 2013. He is also a former Finance Minister. Fayyad replaced German diplomat Martin Kobler, who has served in the post since November 2015.

Kobler sponsored peace dialogue sessions between Libya's political rivals for over a year in order to end the state of political division in the country. Eventually, a peace agreement was signed by the rivals and a new government of national accord was appointed. However, the country still suffers political crisis despite the signed agreement.


Published Date: Feb 12, 2017 05:12 pm | Updated Date: Feb 12, 2017 05:12 pm


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