Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on the appointment of Ján Kubiš as UN Special Envoy for Libya

18.01.2021 - Press release

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas issued the following statement on the appointment of Ján Kubiš as the new Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Libya today (18 January):

It is good news that a new Head of UNSMIL has now been appointed. Ján Kubiš is an astute and skilled diplomat, with whom we have worked extremely well in Lebanon for years. Peace and stability in Libya are in Europe’s fundamental interest. Ján Kubiš will always be able to rely on Germany’s support for his important work.

During the months after the resignation of Ghassan Salamé, Acting Special Representative Stephanie Williams did an outstanding job and made crucial progress in the negotiations between the Libyan parties. Thanks to her profound understanding of the situation and tireless commitment, we are now a good step further ahead on the path to peace in Libya. Stephanie Williams deserves the greatest recognition for this, and I personally would like to thank her most sincerely for her work.

Despite many positive developments in recent months, we still face a long and difficult path. It is now vital that the ceasefire agreement be implemented and that the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum finally agrees on an interim government. In this crucial phase, a smooth transfer in UNSMIL is of huge importance.

Background information:
Secretary-General of the United Nations António Guterres officially announced the appointment of Ján Kubiš as his new Special Representative for Libya today. Ján Kubiš will take over from Ghassan Salamé, who stepped down from the role in March 2020 for health reasons. Deputy Special Representative Stephanie Williams has served as Acting Special Representative and Head of Mission since then. Ján Kubiš is expected to take up his duties in early February. His Deputy, Rai Zenenga, has already started in his new position in Tunis.


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