By Matthew Russell Lee
UNITED NATIONS, February 10 – That the UN would be naming a successor as its Libya envoy to Martin Kobler of Germany was reported by Inner City Press in December along with the name of one of the candidates, the UK's Nick Kay.
Later, after Antonio Guterres took office at Secretary General, a Permanent Member of the Security Council confirmed to Inner City Press the candidacy of Kay adding that there was "another strong candidate" while declining to name that candidate.
Guterres has written to the Security Council that "following the usual consultations" he is giving the post to longtime Palestinian Authority politician Salam Fayyad, some are asking of just what these consultations consisted.
Already significant forces in Libya are opposing the nomination; others are linking it to Jeffrey Feltman, the Obama Administration's head of UN Political Affairs who has arranged to stay on until July 4 so that his UN pension vests. How will this sit with Washington?
They note that the Trump administration, in its draft Executive Order, proposes cutting US funding to any UN entity which allows the Palestinian Authority as a member, and is discussing cutting funding to the PA. Was the US Mission to the UN consulted? Which Mission?
And what of Nick Kay, formerly UN envoy to Somalia, now back with the US FCO? Does Kobler return immediately to the German foreign service, where he still has a position as he told Inner City Press when questioned about his predecessor at UNSMIL Bernardino Leon selling out to the UAE diplomatic academy? What Under Secretary General post will Germany get in the UN? Watch this site.