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Ex-UN envoy: UNSC members stabbed us in the back to stop Libya peace efforts

July 3, 2020 at 12:40 pm

Former UN Special Envoy for Libya Ghassan Salame in Rome, Italy on 8 August 2017 [Riccardo de Luca/Anadolu Agency]

Ghassan Salamé, former UN envoy to Libya, accused some UN Security Council (UNSC) members of hypocrisy towards the Libyan crisis, revealing that he was “being stabbed in the back” by countries that would praise his efforts for peace and then support renegade General Khalifa Haftar’s attacks in the country.

Salamé, who resigned in March citing health issues, said in an interview with the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue: “You could see clearly that a number of big powers were supporting his [Haftar’s] attack and he mentioned some of them by name and he even quoted from conversations with leaders. That’s when you felt, as UN, the hypocrisy of countries at this stage has reached limits that make your work very, very problematic.”

“Important countries not only were supporting the attack on Tripoli, but were plotting exactly against the holding of the National Conference. Didn’t want it to happen. I’m very angry. I’m very angry because it means that the state of multilateralism and international cooperation has gone down big-time.“

“I know what they are doing, they are sending ships, they are sending planes they are interfering, they are sending mercenaries,” he continued in an apparent reference to Russia, the UAE and Egypt who have all been found to be backing Haftar’s offensive against the internationally-backed Government of National Accord (GNA).

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This, he added, made him feel “irrelevant”.

The UN special envoy for Libya resigned from his position in March over concerns for his health. In a tweet, former Lebanese culture minister, Salame, wrote: “For two years, I tried to re-unite Libyans and restrain foreign interference […] but for health reasons I can no longer continue with this level of stress.”

“Therefore I asked the [UN] secretary-general to relieve me of my duties.”