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Ben Sutherland;

Ambassadorial appointments unlikely to be endorsed by HoR soon, “if at all”, say diplomats

A list of new Libyan ambassadors to a number of countries produced last week is unlikely to be approved for some time, if at all, according to Libyan diplomats.

The list, comprising 13 new appointments, was published last week although it is not clear how official it is. It has not appeared on the government’s Facebook page although diplomats say they are aware of it but add that nothing is official until there is approval from the House of Representatives (HoR).

Among the nominations is that of Abu Bakr Emdawer to London, the transfer of Cairo ambassador Mohamed Faiz Gebril to Australia and the exchange of posts between the current ambassador in Riyadh, Abdulbasit Elbadri, and the ambassador in Bahrain, Fawzi Abdulal.

“All appointments must first be approved by the House of Representatives,” explained a Libyan diplomat in Brussels where French-speaking career diplomat Mohamed Al-Khrekshi is listed as being appointed the new ambassador. He is said to be a close friend of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mohamed Al-Dairi.

Not only that, explained the diplomat who asked not to be named, the process could take some considerable time. Moreover, after HoR approval, the diplomats would have to be accepted by the host country.

That has already proved a problem in the case of Libyan Ambassador to Italy, former GNC vice president Ezzidden Al-Awami. The Italian authorities have persistently stalled on approving his accreditation.

For his part, Ambassador Gebril in Cairo, who said he had seen the list, also stressed that appointments were not official until approved by the HoR. Moreover, he said, it would have to assess each one separately. He did not think it would make any ambassadorial decisions in the near future. It would, he believed, be primarily focused on who is in the new Government of National Accord, to be named by the UN-brokered Libya Dialogue meeting in Skhirat in Morocco.

The other ambassadorial appointments on the list are:

  • Abdulgassim Mismari (to the Czech Republic);
  • Al-Sanussi Saleh (Russia);
  • Azza Maghur (India);
  • Abdullatif Al-Khazmi (South Africa);
  • Omar Abdulkarim (Romania);
  • Abdulali Al-Darsi (Kuwait);
  • Abdulmajid Ghaith Seif El Nasr (Morocco); and
  • Habib Al-Amin (Malta)

Al-Amin, the former culture minister, and Seif El Nasr are already in post but have not yet been endorsed by the HoR.

The London nominee, Emdawer, is from Ghadames (as is Prime Minister Abdullah Al-Thinni) and was formerly the town’s member of the General National Congress. He would replace Mahmud Nacua who was appointed in 2012.

Azza Maghur, nominated for New Delhi, is a prominent lawyer and human rights activist. She was a member of the February Committee that drew up proposals that resulted in the election of the House of Representatives.

Reports that Sharif Al-Wafi, the independent delegate to the Libya Dialogue, will go to Cairo have not been confirmed.

Libya’s embassies are already facing problems over lack of funding with many staff complaining of not having received salaries for some months. There are also tensions in some missions between supporters of the government and of the Libya Dawn regime in Tripoli, as well as over finances. In the Ukranian capital Kiev, for example, a knife fight was recently reported between two members of staff.

The latest list and the lengthy time period before it could be implemented are expected to add to Libyan diplomatic uncertainties.

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