Russia, US disagree on UN Advisor Williams as new UN envoy to Libya candidates surface

Russia, US disagree on UN Advisor Williams as new UN envoy to Libya candidates surface

February 21, 2022 - 21:19
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Written By: AbdulkaderAssad

Africa Intelligence has reported that Russia is pushing for the departure of the de facto representative of the UN in Libya, Stephanie Williams, who is now playing the role of the UN Special Advisor on Libya, while the United States wants her to remain.

According to the report, among the names mentioned to succeed Williams are those of a German diplomat and a former Ghanaian minister, as informal discussions are going well at the United Nations to define the future of the UN mission in Libya, UNSMIL , and of Stephanie Williams.

Moscow is working behind the scenes to obtain the departure of Stephanie Williams and the appointment of a new special envoy and head of mission. Paris also has reservations about its continuation, while Washington and London wish, for their part, to comfort the American diplomat. The United States is also not totally ruling out proposing Williams for the post of special envoy, even if this prospect is likely to come up against a Russian veto.

In New York, several names are circulating to take over from Stephanie Williams. At the top is that of Christian Buck , former German ambassador to Libya and current director of North Africa and the Middle East at the German Foreign Ministry.

The proposal aims less to shorten the mandate of the American – which German diplomacy supports – than to reach a consensus to “save” the UNSMIL, whose mandate has only been renewed for three months, due to pressure Russians. His career – he has never held a ministerial post or important functions at the UN – would however arouse reservations among several members of the UNSC.

Other names include the current UN special representative for Iraq and head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), the former Dutch defense minister Jeanine Antoinette Plasschaert.

The African Union (AU), which has been calling for a long time to be better associated with the settlement of the Libyan conflict, is pushing, for its part, for the candidacy of the former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ghana, Hanna Tetteh.