U.N. Libya envoy urges U.N. to blacklist anyone who obstructs peace talks
By Michelle Nichols NEW YORK (Reuters) - The acting United Nations Libya envoy pressed the U.N. Security Council on Thursday to blacklist anyone who obstructs peace efforts after the warring parties agreed a ceasefire and Libyan participants in political talks set a date for elections. The 15-member Security Council is able to impose an asset freeze or travel ban on individuals or entities.
By Michelle Nichols
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The acting United Nations Libya envoy pressed the U.N. Security Council on Thursday to blacklist anyone who obstructs peace efforts after the warring parties agreed a ceasefire and Libyan participants in political talks set a date for elections.
The 15-member Security Council is able to impose an asset freeze or travel ban on individuals or entities.
"This council has tools at its disposal including to prevent obstructionists from jeopardizing this rare opportunity to restore peace in Libya. I call on you to use them," acting U.N. Libya envoy Stephanie Williams told the council.
Last month the two major sides in the country's war - the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) and Khalifa Haftar's eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA) - agreed a ceasefire and Libyan participants in political talks last week set Dec. 24, 2021 as the date for elections.
"The council is ready to support the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum will all the tools at its disposal, including sanctions against any spoilers," said a Security Council diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Williams said that despite some progress in implementing the announced ceasefire, neither side had yet withdrawn from the frontlines as agreed and cargo flights were still arriving at air bases controlled by both.
Turkey backs the GNA. Russia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt support the LNA. Those foreign powers have been cited in earlier U.N. documents as supplying weapons in defiance of the arms embargo.
Libya descended into chaos after the NATO-backed overthrow of leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Kelly Craft, said on Thursday the United States, Britain, Germany and Estonia had proposed the council's Libya sanctions committee blacklist "some of the most egregious abusers of human rights in Libya, including Mohammed al-Kani and the Kaniyat militia."
If no countries on the 15-member committee raise any objections by tomorrow, then the targeted sanctions will be imposed, diplomats said.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres hopes to appoint current U.N. Middle East envoy Nickolay Mladenov as the new Libya envoy to replace Ghassan Salame, who quit in March due to stress.
But the Security Council has not yet given the green light as diplomats said some members would instead like an African to be appointed.
"Nickolay Mladenov is the right choice for this role. We look forward to consulting with the Secretary-General and this Council on potential African candidates for the UNSMIL Coordinator position," Craft told the council.
UNSMIL is the U.N. political mission in Libya.
(Additional reporting by Angus McDowall; editing by David Evans)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.