The US State Department appoints Richard Norland as special envoy to Libya


The US State Department has announced that the US Ambassador to Libya, Richard Norland, will now also serve as the US Special Envoy for Libya in addition to continuing to serve as Head of the Diplomatic Mission in North African country. According to the Department, “in his role as special envoy, Ambassador Norland will lead US diplomatic efforts to promote international support for an inclusive and negotiated Libya-led political solution to the conflict facilitated by the United Nations.”

US Ambassador Richard Norland, Minister of Career in the Foreign Service and three-time Ambassador, has been head of mission at the External Office of Libya, based in Tunis, since August 2019. The addition of the role of special envoy of the United States to responsibility represents the importance that the United States attaches to targeted and high-level diplomatic action in support of the Libyan political process that will culminate with the elections of December 24, 2021. “The envoy – continues the note – will work on close contact with key partners to strengthen efforts to keep the political process on track and ensure the removal of foreign forces from Libya.”

Libya’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation noted in a statement its decision to appoint Ambassador Richard Norland as Special Envoy to Libya by the US State Department. The Ministry of Tripoli specified that “while appreciating its efforts and its esteemed government in reaching a political solution to the Libyan crisis, the Ministry shares the vision of the importance of a unified position for the international community that effectively supports the political process in progress, in particular the optimal implementation of the roadmap and the ceasefire agreement, leading to transparent and fair presidential and parliamentary elections. And in conditions of safety and stability.”

The UN Security Council unanimously approved a resolution calling on all foreign forces and mercenaries to leave Libya and giving the green light to a team to monitor the historic ceasefire agreement last October.In a second vote, the ambassadors also approved a resolution renewing the measures relating to the illicit export of oil, until July 30, 2022.

The UN-brokered agreement last year was signed by military representatives of the internationally recognized Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) and the rival administration of the Libyan National Army (LNA), based in eastern Libya. The permanent ceasefire agreement also required the establishment of a monitoring mechanism to implement it, and the details were detailed in the proposals of December 29, presented by the UN Secretary-General António Guterres, as requested by the Council. In February, the UNSC sent a letter to the Secretary-General requesting that an advanced team be deployed in anticipation under the auspices of the United Nations Support Mission, UNSMIL, and requesting a report on the team’s work.



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