By Libya Herald staff.
Tunis, 10 August 2017:
Following his first official trips over the past week to Tripoli, Beida and Guba, new UN special envoy Ghassan Salamé was in Benghazi today visiting the university and healthcare facilities.
“Wouldn’t want my 1st week in Libya to pass w/o visiting this city,” he later tweeted.
Accompanied by the acting mayor, Abdulrahman Elabbar who met him at the airport, he headed to Benghazi University where he toured the massively damaged campus. He then went to the undamaged medical faculty in Fuwayhat to meet students as well as academics and writers to hear their views about the situation in the city and the country – and their own needs.
“I also wouldn’t want for a second not to start my visit in #Benghazi from its university. Here, I am w/ my close family” the former professor at the Paris Institute of Political Studies also tweeted. He mentioned, too, today that he was “appalled” at the scale of destruction in the city.
When he visited Tripoli last Friday, he similarly went to the university there to meet students.
Before flying back to Tunis, Salamé also visited the Benghazi Radiotherapy Centre in Hawari and the nearby renal centre to hear from staff how best UNSMIL could support them.
The radiotherapy centre was closed from 2014 until last year because of fighting with the militants. It is now being helped by the Stabilisation Facility for Libya, itself supported by the UNDP.
In talks with Elabbar at Benina airport before heading to the university, he praised the persistence and determination of Benghazi’s people in their fight against terrorism.
“I have no illusion of the challenges for Benghazi elsewhere in the country, but I am optimistic that Libya can emerge from this crisis,” he told Elabber and Benghazi officials.
According to an UNSMIL official, Salamé feels very positive about the visit and the reception he received from officials. “It was a very good trip,” the official said.