Security Council votes on appointing Kubis a new UN envoy to Libya

The UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, is planning to appoint the Slovakian diplomat, Jan Kubis, as his envoy in Libya nearly a year after Lebanese Ghassan Salame stepped down, according to a letter to the UN Security Council on Thursday.

If there are no objections by any of the 15-member council by Friday evening, Kubis will succeed Ghassan Salame, who quit the role in March last year due to “health reasons”. Salame’s deputy Stephanie Williams has been since the acting Libya envoy.

Kubis, a former Slovakian foreign minister, is currently the UN special coordinator for Lebanon. He has also served as the UN special envoy in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The planned appointment of Kubis comes after the Security Council approved in December a plan by Guterres’ to name Bulgarian diplomat Nickolay Mladenov to the Libya role. But a week later Mladenov said he could not take up the position due to “personal and family reasons.”

That followed months of disagreement in the Security Council over a US push to split the role to have one person run the UN political mission and a special envoy to focus on mediation. The council eventually agreed to that proposal in September.

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