By Jamie Prentis.
Tunis, 29 July 2017:
New UNSMIL chief Ghassan Salamé has warned that his mission will be a failure if Libyans are not prepared to compromise.
“Nothing will be achieved if Libya’s leaders are happy to remain in this vicious political cycle,” he warned in an interview on UN radio.
However, Salamé insisted that he was coming to work with and for Libya and believed progress could be made. “If their decision is to get out of the cycle, they will find an energetic and creative mind at their service,” he said to the station.
Salamé is expected to make his first visit to Libya next Wednesday. Before then he is involved in a round of talks in New York which include representatives of the EU, African Union, Algeria, Tunisia and Egypt. He is also meeting his chief, UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres and seeking “the refined views” of envoys from the five permanent Security Council members: China,France, Russia, the UK and US.
Salamé had been in Paris for the Serraj-Hafter meeting hosted by French president Macron.
He said he was pleased by the agreement of a ceasefire, the acceptance that a solution should be political and based on the Skhirat agreement and the plans for an election next year. He said the UN would help make sure Libya was well prepared for such elections when they go ahead.
He also made a point of saying he had been moved by the many messages of personal support from Libyans.