The United Nations have appointed a new Special Representative in Libya. Former Lebanese Minister of Culture Ghassan Salamé is at the same time becoming Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya. The Federal Foreign Office Spokesperson today (23 June) thanked Salamé’s predecessor, the German diplomat Martin Kobler, for his tireless commitment.
Here is the statement issued by Foreign Office Spokesperson Martin Schäfer at the governmental press conference on 23 June 2017:
On behalf of the Federal Government, I want to say that we wish Mr Salamé the best of luck as he assumes his new tasks in Libya. It is a truly complex political environment, both inside the country and internationally. We hope he will have the good fortune he needs to achieve progress on the very difficult dossier of Libya. I can assure you that Germany will do everything it can to support the efforts of both the United Nations and Mr Salamé to bring about an inclusive political solution in the country.
This is a good opportunity to again expressly thank Ambassador Martin Kobler for the tireless commitment he has shown during the nearly two years he served as United Nations Special Representative in Libya. Time and again, Martin Kobler made numerous proposals and launched many initiatives, putting forward new ways to solve the conflict. This required perseverance and a constant willingness to communicate, also with difficult political actors, both in the international arena and in Libya. Martin Kobler always emphasised that the only way for the country’s population to enjoy peace, security and a share of the wealth of the Libyan nation is through a political compromise. He systematically involved regional and international actors, and he enhanced the important, indeed key role played by the United Nations in finding a solution to the conflict in Libya. Martin Kobler was the United Nations’ point man in Libya, and he showed true personal courage, also by repeatedly getting out of his car in Tripoli, even if this meant ignoring the advice of his security advisers, so that he could speak directly with the people in the street: in the marketplace, in hospitals and even in the horrible detention centres where refugees are being housed. What Martin Kobler has done in the humane and courageous performance of his duties as Special Representative is most deeply respected and greatly appreciated. I want to thank him for this, also on behalf of the Federal Government