Libya asks UN to suspend sanctions; appoints new envoy
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Last Updated: Saturday, March 05, 2011, 14:26
  
United Nations: Libya's Gaddafi regime has asked the UNSC to suspend sanctions imposed on it over the brutal crackdown on anti-government protesters, as it sacked two of its diplomats at the world body who had renounced its leadership and appointed an ex-foreign minister as its new envoy.

The Libyan government sent a letter to the United Nations, informing it that it had sacked its top two diplomats to the world body -- Ambassador Mohamed Shalgham and Deputy Ambassador Ibrahim Dabbashi, who had publicly defected after people revolted against Muammar Gaddafi.

In another letter to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Gaddafi said that his regime wished to have veteran Libyan diplomat Ali Abdussalam Treki, a former foreign minister, as its new Permanent Representative to the UN, who is expected to present his credentials to the world body chief soon.

"When any country sends a letter naming the permanent representative, that person is the person who will be recognised," UN spokesperson Martin Nesirky told journalists last evening.

Treki served as the President of the UN General Assembly during its previous session when Gaddafi gave a long rambling speech at the annual meeting of the body in September last year.

When asked about Treki 's current location, Nesirky said, "No idea."

In Washington, State Department spokesman P J Crowley was asked whether the US would issue Treki a visa to come to the country.

"We have official responsibilities in supporting the United Nations," Crowley said. "There are agreements that guide that support."

But the first step in this process is for Libya to authentically and authoritatively declare who their representatives are in this country, he said.

Meanwhile, the Gaddafi regime also asked the UN Security Council to suspend the sanctions against Libya which were slapped a week ago, claiming that "no opposition has been raised to peaceful, unarmed demonstrators".

Libyan Foreign Minister Musa Mohammad Kusa, in a letter addressed to Chinese ambassador Li Baodong whose country currently holds the monthly rotating presidency of UNSC, said his government "regrets" the 15-member Council's unanimous step to impose an arms embargo against the country, apart from an asset and travel ban on Gaddafi, his kin and top aides.

The Libyan government was "taken aback" by the sanctions and sought suspension of the sanctions "until such time as the truth is established," media reports said.

Responding to whether the US still considered Gaddafi the ruler of Libya, Crowley said, "He is responsible for Libya still."

UN spokesperson Nesirky said that the world body was "studying" the two letters sent by Gaddafi.

Shalgham was the diplomat who spoke against Gaddafi at the UN Security Council session, which adopted the resolution imposing sanctions against the Libyan ruler last week. When he broke into tears after the meeting, the envoy was embraced by other diplomats, including Ban.

"It's complicated," the UN spokesperson said. "It is not a normal set of circumstances by any means I am not saying it is unprecedented but it's certainly very unusual."

"But the bottom line is that a sovereign State that is a member state of the United Nations has the right both to name and to revoke their Permanent Representative or Deputy Permanent Representative," he said. "And that is a fact."

PTI


First Published: Saturday, March 05, 2011, 14:26


Tag: LibyaUNenvoy
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