Salame seeks international unity on Libya ahead of UNGA
The new UN envoy Ghassan Salame has made steadfast strides towards getting the myriad international actors involved in Libya policy onside with his new Libyan roadmap for political unity which he plans to unveil the plan on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly this week. On 14 September, Salame briefed the foreign ministers of America, Britain, Italy, the UAE, Egypt and France in London. On 15 September, he briefed the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow. On 15 September, the UN Security Council also issued resolution 2376 extending the UN Support Mission in Libya’s (UNSMIL) mandate for another year.
On 16 September, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson stressed that Washington will help Tripoli “restore unity in Libya,” showing a potential increase in the level of US interest in engagement in Libya. The Egyptian Foreign Ministry said in a statement following the London meeting that all participants agreed on the importance of Salame’s efforts, but went on to say that Egypt will continue to bridge the divide between Libyan factions on the civil and military levels. On 19 September, the Egyptian Committee on Libya issued a statement saying that it will host the reorganization of Libya’s army after Libyan military officers chose Egypt as a starting point for plans to unify the army.
Salame reportedly impressed upon those he met that he does not want a plethora of uncoordinated initiatives on Libya from different countries. However, the apparent international unified approach on Libya masks deep schisms between these countries regarding their alliances with different Libyan factions and their interests on the ground, all of which could effectively undermine the process.