Saturday, March 5, 2011

Special Envoy to #Libya

So far Obama hasn't sent his special envoy to Libya, unlike in the case of Egypt.

Remember the disaster (though no one remembers now..) of an envoy that he sent to Egypt, who was the personal friend of Mubarak, ex-AIG vice chairman and Enron board member, who praised Mubarak for his work and insisted that Mubarak stay on to steer the changes for his wonderful legacy?

But UN's Ban Ki-Moon is apparently close to selecting his, according to Foreign Policy magazine (3/5/2011):

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is planning to name one of two former Jordanian foreign ministers, either Abdul-llah Khatib or Marwan Muasher, early next week as his special envoy to Libya, marking an escalation in the U.N.'s effort to address a potential humanitarian crisis in Libya and to prepare the groundwork for a transition of power, U.N.-based diplomatic sources told Turtle Bay.

Khatib is expected to organize a team of experts who will initially help coordinate the humanitarian response to Moammar Qaddafi's violent crackdown on anti-government protesters, which has led to the flight of tens of thousands of foreign nationals. But the mission will also take on a political role, seeking to build consensus among the various Libyan tribal factions and opposition groups, and helping to facilitate a political transition.

The move clearly shows the convergence of U.S. and U.N. efforts to help bring about an end of Qaddafi's 41-year rule in Libya. It appears unlikely that Ban will seek to promote mediation efforts between Qaddafi's government and anti-government rebels. Ban and the United States have questioned Qaddafi's right to rule. "In Libya, a regime that has lost legitimacy has declared war on its own people," Ban said last week during a visit to the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. "It is up to us, the community of nations, to stand against this crime."

The U.N. chief had also approached Lakhdar Brahimi, a former Algerian foreign minister and U.N. trouble-shooter, and Kamal Dervis, a Turkish economist who previously headed the U.N. Development Program. But both men turned the job down. Ban has been in discussions with both Khatib and Muasher. U.N-based diplomats were divided over which candidate prevailed. But two council diplomats said they believed Muasher was the front runner.

A spokesman for Ban, Farhan Haq, declined to confirm or deny the pending appointment of Al-Khatib, saying a final decision has not been made. "As you might imagine, we can't comment officially on any of that, just to say that the search is ongoing and that we expect to make an announcement soon," Haq told Turtle Bay.

Ban discussed his plan to appoint a special representative in a White House meeting last week with President Barack Obama.

Read the full article at the link.

So a former Jordanian minister is going to do... what? Meet .... who? Gaddafi?


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