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UN Envoy to Libya Throws in the Towel

The UN envoy for Libya has resigned citing health reasons after nearly three years in the post. Appointed in July 2017, Ghassan Salame had recently been mediating three-tiered talks between Libya’s warring sides on economic, political and military tracks. In a tweet on Monday, Salame cited “this level of stress” as a reason behind his intention to step down as the UN’s envoy for the war-wracked country. “For two years, I tried to re-unite Libyans and restrain foreign interference […] but for health reasons I can no longer continue with this level of stress. Therefore I asked the [UN] secretary-general to relieve me of my duties.” Salame, a former culture minister in his native Lebanon and an international relations professor, had time and again regretted a lack of cooperation on the part of the international community, especially countries that support one or the other of Libya’s warring sides. A UN spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric, confirmed that Secretary-General Antonio Guterres received Salame’s resignation. “The secretary-general has always had full confidence in Salame’s work and the great efforts he has made to bring peace to Libya,” Dujarric said. “[Guterres] will be discussing with Salame the way to ensure a smooth transition so as not to lose any momentum on the gains that have been made.”