African Union (AU) chairman, Jean Ping, has appointed a . . .[restrict]special representative to Libya and head of the AU office in Tripoli. The appointment of Mondher Rezgui, a Tunisian political scientist, was made following the AU summit last week in the Ethiopian capital Addis Abeba.
Rezgui, who previously headed the Tunisian presidential cabinet office, is currently a counsellor in the office of Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki. His mandate is to help stabilisation in Libya, promote national reconciliation and facilitate the transitional process towards democratic institutions in cooperation with the UN and the other international partners.
Relations between the AU and the NTC had been strained largely because the AU was seen in Libya as dragging it feet over supporting the revolution and recognising the NTC, mainly at the behest of South Africa president Jacob Zuma. However last October, the AU took the decision to send a special representative to try and rebuild ties. On 17 January 2012, Ping visited Tripoli for talks with the Libyan authorities, and last week Prime Minister Abdulrahman Al-Kib attended the AU summit along with a team of Libyan officials. [/restrict]