Egypt welcomes appointment of new UN chief's special representative for Libya

Ahram Online , Monday 5 Sep 2022

Egypt has welcomed the appointment of Abdullah Bathili as the new special representative of the secretary-general of the United Nations and head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL).

Egyptian Foreign Ministry
File Photo: Egyptian Foreign Ministry building. Al-Ahram


Egypt wishes that Bathili will be successful in his mission and will be able to achieve a breakthrough in the challenges besetting Libya based on the UN Security Council resolutions, said a statement issued by the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday.

On Friday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced the appointment of former Senegalese minister and UN diplomat Bathili to the position. The previous UNSMIL head, Jan Kubis, served for 10 months, stepping down in November 2021 in the run-up to the planned national elections in December.

These elections ended up being suspended over differences between competing administrations in the east and west of the country.

Bathili's appointment, which ends a nine-month search for a new mediator in the 11-year-old conflict, comes as cautious calm has settled in the country after recent deadly clashes in the capital Tripoli between warring militias left 32 dead and 160 wounded.

Following these clashes, Egypt called on all Libyan parties, national forces and social components to end escalation, prioritise language of dialogue and avoid violence.

Guterres had informally proposed two other people to fill the role, but the Security Council could not agree, according to Reuters.

In December, Guterres appointed American diplomat Stephanie Williams as his special adviser, a post that does not require Security Council approval, to lead mediation efforts in Libya after Kubis' resignation.

Williams left her position in late July.

Egypt renews its support to the efforts exerted by the UN to reach a Libyan-Libyan political solution that leads to an end to the political crisis and the holding of presidential and parliamentary elections simultaneously as soon as possible, according to the statement.

It also reiterated the necessity of the exit of all foreign forces and mercenaries from Libya within a specific time frame in a manner that preserves Libya's stability, security, unity and territorial integrity, the statement added.

The statement affirmed Egypt's full readiness to cooperate with the UN special envoy to Libya in order to resolve the crisis in a way that meets the aspirations of the Libyan people.

Cairo has been pushing for a political settlement in Libya for years, complete disarming of militias, an end to foreign intervention in the country and the fair distribution of wealth among various regions.

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