Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier issued the following statement in Berlin on 4 November on Martin Kobler’s appointment by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as Special Representative and Head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL):
With Martin Kobler, the UN Secretary-General has appointed one of the most able and experienced German diplomats as Special Representative and Head of the UN Support Mission in Libya. Martin Kobler is assuming this difficult task at a critical time. We need a stable Libya as a partner especially now when thousands of refugees are reaching us every day from the conflict-stricken region and terrorist groups such as ISIS are gaining a foothold amid violence and anarchy.
Kobler’s predecessor Bernardino León has worked with great judgement and persistence in recent months to bring the Libyan parties to the conflict to the negotiating table – with, incidentally, talks taking place for the first time at the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin in June. While a great deal of progress towards a peace agreement has already been made, the decisive final step needed to adopt a political agreement has yet to be taken. It is now up to the political leaders in Libya to take responsibility for the future of their country and to make the next move towards forming a government of national unity. Martin Kobler will assist the country’s decision-makers in his capacity as an able mediator and adviser. We would like to take this opportunity to wish him every success for this great task and to assure him and the Libyan people of our full support.