Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry received the United Nations special envoy to Libya Martin Kobler in Cairo Saturday, and discussed the political process in Libya and current efforts to establish a unity government.
Previously an ambassador to Egypt and Iraq, German Diplomat Martin Kobler was appointed as the UN’s new Special Envoy to Libya on 17 November, replacing Spanish diplomat Bernardino Leon, AFP reported.
The appointment comes after Leon’s proposed plan to share power and establish a unity government was rejected by Libya’s rival factions in October. The internationally recognised parliament in Tobruk refused the national unity government plan announced by the UN envoy at that time, saying the UN refused to exclude the amendments added by the Islamist authorities in Tripoli.
The UN agreement proposes a unity government led by a presidential council of a prime minister, five deputy prime ministers and three senior ministers. The new envoy urged the warring factions to adhere to the negotiated agreement, suggesting that no changes be made, but only consultations, Reuters reported.
Peace negotiations have frequently come to a halt, as one of the two factions expressed its rejection to the proposed plan.
Upon assuming his position, Kobler announced that his priorities include security to achieve “durable peace” and to restart talks to form a unity government.
Security concerns have intensified as “Islamic State” (IS) affiliates are gaining ground in multiple parts of the country.
Since Gaddafi’s ouster in 2011, Libya has witnessed division on the political level, with two rival governments currently operating in Libya. One is the internationally-recognised government based in the city of El-Beyda, and frequently called the Tobruk government, and the other is in Tripoli.
Former envoy Leon resigned from his post after he accepted a job offer as the director general of a diplomatic academy launched by the UAE government. The move sparked controversy due to the UAE’s position as a stakeholder in the armed conflict in Libya, raising questions with regards to Leon’s impartiality in the process.