The Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Ghassan Salame, arrived in Tripoli today and met with President Faiez al-Sarraj, Presidency Council (PC) members and the Head of the High Council of State, Abdulrahman al-Sweihli.
In a joint press conference after the meeting, President Sarraj said:
“I welcome Dr. Ghassan Salame in his first official visit to Libya and Tripoli, the capital of all Libyans. Dr. Salame is a political and cultural stature and we have all the respect for him.”
“I assume my role with great respect for the Libyan people and for their national sovereignty, unity and independence,” said Dr. Salame speaking at the press conference with President Sarraj. “I have no illusions regarding the difficulties and challenges ahead but I am optimistic that Libya can emerge from this crisis and soon,” he added.
Acknowledging the positive role of youth in peacebuilding and conflict prevention, the Special Representative also visited Tripoli University to hear from student union representatives on their proposed solutions going forward. In the coming days and weeks, the SRSG intends to meet a wide range of interlocutors and stakeholders throughout the country to exchange views and suggestions on advancing the political process.
“This outreach process is not open-ended,” Dr. Salame emphasized. “It is for the purpose of articulating a common view, vision and strategy to move the political process forward. The time factor is very important here. Every passing day without a political agreement has negative security, economic and social consequences for Libyans,” he added.
The Special Representatives expressed his gratitude to the Libyans for their warm welcome and affirmed that the UN will work alongside them to build peace, security and unity in Libya.