Lavrov: UN Special Envoy to Libya must be appointed as a matter of urgency

29 December 2020


The appointment of a Special UN Envoy for Libya is a matter of utmost urgency, and Moscow is waiting for proposals to this effect from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday.

"It is fundamentally important to intensify this work so that the [UN] Secretary-General breaks the protracted pause as soon as possible when the post of the UN Special Envoy for Libya has been vacant since last March. This situation is unacceptable, and we have called on the Secretary-General both directly and I am repeating that call now: it is urgent that a Special Envoy for a Libyan settlement be appointed. We will wait for appropriate proposals from Antonio Guterres," the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

He added that all foreign players have agreed to support the UN's coordinating role in Libya's settlement, and Russia is actively promoting this position.

The situation in Libya has stabilized after incidents of ceasefire violations in the south of the country, and the parties to the conflict are generally complying with agreements on this issue, Lavrov said.

"In fact, the situation is very, very serious. There were some incidents in violation of the ceasefire not long ago in the south [of Libya]. But since then the situation has generally stabilized, and mostly the summer cease-fire agreements are respected. This should be promoted in every possible way and everything should be done to consolidate this agreement, including through the support of the five-plus five military committees created by the parties," the Minister stressed.

According to him, from the very beginning of the conflict, Moscow has maintained contacts with all the conflicting parties without exception and Russia and Turkey intend to continue promoting an inclusive negotiation process, which "should end in a fair settlement". "More than once our countries have played a constructive and positive role on this complicated path <...> We - both Russia and Turkey - are committed to moving along this path," the Russian Foreign Minister stressed.

He cited as an example Moscow and Ankara's joint efforts that resulted in several meetings with the participation of the conflicting parties in Libya and the organization of the Berlin Peace Conference and the adoption of the corresponding UN Security-Council Resolution.

There was considerable disagreement in the UN Security Council over the appointment of a successor to the previous UN Special Representative for Libya, Ghassan Salame, following his resignation in March. Stephanie Williams, the Deputy head of the UN Support Mission in Libya, served as his successor. In September, the UN Security Council decided that the position of the UN Special Envoy to Libya would be replaced by a Special Envoy of the Secretary-General.

Guterres nominated Bulgarian diplomat Nikolay Mladenov, the coordinator for the Middle East settlement, in November. All 15 UN Security Council countries were satisfied with his nomination, but some of them demanded that a replacement be found for him in the Palestinian-Israeli settlement track. On December 22, UN Secretary-General's spokesman Stephane Dujarric said that Mladenov refused to take the position of Special Envoy for personal reasons.


GSV "Russia - Islamic World"

Photo: Janine Schmitz / / TASS

Based on materials from TASS