Egypt seeks replacement of UN Adviser to Libya for allegedly opposing Cairo’s vision
Egypt is marshalling support around Africa to obtain the replacement of US Stephani Williams, who is acting as Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on Libya, with an African figure on the grounds that the UN diplomat antagonizes Cairo’s vision in the Libya crisis, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reports citing an informed Egyptian source.
The source told the London-based Qatari media that Cairo has reached out to several African countries of international weight to lobby the international community to accept an African-nominated candidate for heading the UN mission in Libya.
Relations between Williams and Egypt have been rocky over several conflicting views. Egypt’s frustration took another hit this month, at the recent UN-facilitated talks between members of the Libyan Parliament (HoR) and the High Council of State in Cairo, aimed at moving forward a constitutional and legislative framework for the country’s long-waited elections.
Williams cut short the consultations, a move that has upset Egyptian authorities.
“Williams decided to end the meetings and resume a new round of talks after Eid Al-Fitr, following differences between the UN official and the Egyptians, who pressed to impose their visions for the Libyan crisis,” the source said.
A western diplomat in Cairo told media that Williams’s came as result of “Egyptian prevarication.”
Initially, Egypt showed goodwill about the Libyan parties conducting a free dialogue in the country before the UN mission coordinating the talks was surprised by Cairo’s move to organize a meeting between representatives of the HoR and officials from the Egyptian intelligence service,” the western diplomat said.
After the meeting, “they presented a completely different perception of the dialogue’s line, which is consensus on a constitutional rule.”
Egypt, according to the diplomat, backs the Libyan parliament’s choice of former Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha as the Prime Minister to organize the much-awaited elections.
The Tobruk-based parliament has sacked Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh on the grounds that his mandate ended on Dec. 24 after the presidential elections failed to go ahead.
Williams’s mandate is coming to close end of this month. Russia is also exerting pressure for her replacement.