Jan Kubis approved as new UN Libya envoy

The former Slovakian foreign minister is currently the UN special coordinator for Lebanon.
Saturday 16/01/2021
Jan Kubis, then UN top envoy in Afghanistan  speaks in Moscow, on January 21, 2014. AFP
Jan Kubis, then UN top envoy in Afghanistan speaks in Moscow, on January 21, 2014. (AFP)

NEW YORK--The United Nations Security Council approved on Friday the appointment of veteran diplomat Jan Kubis as the UN Libya envoy, diplomats said, nearly a year after the last mediator stepped down.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had proposed that Kubis succeed Ghassan Salame, who quit the role in March last year due to stress. Salame’s deputy Stephanie Williams has been 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 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.”

Libya descended into chaos after the NATO-backed overthrow of leader Muammar Gadhafi in 2011. In October, the two major sides in the country’s war – the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) and Khalifa Haftar’s eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA) – agreed to a ceasefire.