Can the UN’s New Special Representative Make Progress in Libya?
In an article for Chatham House published on 9 August, Tim Eaton discusses what role the new UN Envoy to Libya Ghassan Salamé, who has now officially taken up his post, will have in facilitating and supporting a solution to Libya’s crisis. He concludes that:
Salamé now faces a race against time to reach out to key Libyan stakeholders in the House of Representatives and State Council, but also far beyond, ahead of the meeting of the UN general assembly in mid-September. Momentum will be crucial and Salamé’s grace period will be extremely short. He will have to contend as well with an international community that has lacked commitment and cohesion.
Italy, which has been at the forefront of Western policy towards Libya, publicly complained that it was not notified over plans for the Macron meeting, and it appears that many in the French foreign ministry working on the Libya file were similarly unaware. There remains little indication that it is part of a coordinated approach.
So getting the international community and myriad of Libyan actors to participate in a coherent UN-led process remains an uphill task. To be successful, Salamé must start by ensuring that the Paris meeting is the start of a political process rather than simply a photo opportunity for Emmanuel Macron.
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