The outgoing UN envoy to Libya, Bernardino Leon, on Thursday said he would seek a "full clarification" of a newspaper report that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was shipping arms to Libyan factions in violation of an arms embargo.
He added that he is reflecting on whether to accept a government-funded job in the UAE following questions about a conflict of interest with his current job.
Leaked emails reported by the New York Times suggested that the UAE shipped weapons to Libyan factions fighting Islamists while offering a $50,000-month job to Leon, the UN envoy negotiating a peace deal for Libya.
The full text of Bernardino Leon's statement is shown below:
"I am aware of the report today in the New York Times about Libya and alleged activities in contravention of United Nations Security Council resolutions. In light of this report, I have decided to request a full clarification of the issue, including from the United Arab Emirate (UAE) authorities, as I take time to reflect on the next steps in my professional career.
"During the last year, I have worked very closely with the most senior officials of countries previously alleged to have been involved in the Libyan conflict. It has been my conviction over the past year that countries such as the UAE, Qatar, Turkey and Egypt have consistently supported UN peace efforts, and that their leaderships understood that the only option for Libya is the agreement and unity government elaborated with many Libyan actors and proposed recently. Their statements and constructive and active participation in the political process has been appreciated by all the Libyan representatives.
"Given the inaccurate or false information we have seen in previous months regarding the process in Libya and the UN and my role, I believe it is imperative to be extremely cautious about the most recent reports.
"This is the most critical moment for peace in Libya. I encourage all Libyans to continue to work and finalize their efforts and not to be driven by any other consideration than the national interest.
"As Special Representative of the Secretary-General, my work in the last year has been to build trust and lay bridges between the parties in the conflict and articulate a sustainable political solution, through consensus and inclusion, in order to restore governance and peaceful coexistence in the country.
"For this reason I consider nothing is more important than full compliance with United Nations resolutions. The reports in the media are allegations that have not been verified. The authorities and government of the UAE have the right and deserve the opportunity to clarify them, as I am confident they will do.
"I am currently finalising my role as SRSG, but will always be engaged with the United Nations and its principles, and will always be at the disposal of the Organisation and its Secretary-General for any issue related to this dossier or any other. Peace, stability and an end to the suffering of the Libyan people are my main priority and commitment."