Former Bulgarian politician and diplomat Nikolai Mladenov, current UN envoy for the Middle East peace process (ie the mediator between Israel and Palestine) would be one step away from the appointment of UN envoy for Libya.
The role of representative of the general secretary Antonio Guterres it had been vacant in Libya since the Lebanese professor resigned from his post on 3 March this year Ghassan Salamè, former minister in Beirut and former director of the Science Po school of international politics in Paris. A respected and competent man, who for three years had devoted himself body and soul to trying to restart political negotiations to pacify Libya.
Mladenov is 48 years old, for five years he had been on duty in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Gaza to work with Israelis and Palestinians, a role in which all recognized balance and equidistance. In the past he was the Foreign Minister of Bulgaria from 2010 to 2013, while before that he was a European Parliamentary and also Minister of Defense.
The appointment of Mladenov, if confirmed by the Security Council, will also put an end to a period of embarrassment for the United States with its partners in the region and with the Libyan protagonists: the United States had in fact blocked a first choice of the secretary of the UN. Guterres had identified in the former Algerian foreign minister Ramtane lamamra the ideal candidate to send to Libya. But the United Arab Emirates and Egypt worked against the Algerian, asking the US to block the appointment.
There should be no surprises on the Bulgarian Mladenov; in five years between Israel and Palestine he gave the impression of being a balanced official, able to avoid the thousand political pitfalls that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been dragging along for decades. The idea is that his post, however, is “unpacked” in two: he would be in charge of following the negotiations to pacify Libya, while his deputy, the American Stephanie Williams, would take care of coordinating all UN agencies in Tripoli, a decisive job for the reconstruction of the country.