Foreign Policy: Diplomatic differences undermine the position of the United Nations ahead of the elections in Libya
Quoted by “Foreign Policy”Foreign PolicyThe American newspaper quoted diplomatic sources as saying that Russia prevented the appointment of British diplomat to the United Nations, Nicholas Kay, as a special envoy of the United Nations in Libya, which contributed to creating a diplomatic crisis ahead of the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections in Libya.
According to the magazine, the Russian move comes less than a week after the resignation of the outgoing United Nations envoy to Libya, Slovakian diplomat Jan Kubis, who abruptly resigned from his job following a dispute with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres over the United Nations’ handling of preparations for the Libyan elections.
It also comes in light of the ongoing tensions between Russia and Britain, which have prevented the renewal of the missions of a number of the organization’s experts.
The newspaper pointed out that Moscow protested what it considered the large number of Britons – some of whom hold dual nationalities – in sovereign posts at the United Nations.
Foreign Policy said Guterres had hoped to move quickly to appoint a new envoy ahead of the Libyan elections, at his suggestion, former British diplomat Kay, who served as the United Nations special envoy in Somalia.
Diplomatic sources indicate that Guterres is considering the possibility of appointing Stephanie Williams – the US diplomat and former acting special envoy of the United Nations in Libya – to the position temporarily, to avoid another controversial vote in the United Nations Security Council, but some diplomats doubt the success of Guterres’ move, which That would provoke Russia.
Moscow had previously blocked Guterres’ plan to appoint Williams – his official special representative in Libya – and objected to his emergency plan to extend her mandate as the acting head of the United Nations mission in Libya.
Yesterday, Wednesday, questions were raised at the United Nations about the presidential elections scheduled in Libya before the end of this month, amid the continued presence of foreign fighters, and disagreements by political forces over the laws regulating these benefits.
While the Secretary-General of the International Organization stressed that this entitlement should not be “part of the problem”, the President of the UN Security Council questioned the availability of the necessary conditions for holding democratic elections.
At a press conference, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, “We want these elections to be part of the solution, not part of the problem” in Libya.
“Accordingly, we will do our utmost to facilitate a dialogue that will allow resolving the remaining issues … that could divide Libya,” and “the holding of elections in a way that contributes to solving the Libyan problem,” he added.
Libyans hope that the elections will contribute to ending the armed conflict that has plagued their oil-rich country. These fears come as the country enters a crucial phase of the presidential elections scheduled for December 24, which are clouded by differences between the competing camps and ongoing tensions on the ground.