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Newsline: Libyan-American group files complaint to UN about envoy

A Libyan-American group said it has filed a complaint with the United Nations demanding it investigate the circumstances surrounding the hiring of the U.N.’s former envoy to Libya by the United Arab Emirates, which backs one of the country’s rival governments. The complaint surrounds Bernardino Leon’s acceptance of a job as director general of the Emirates Diplomatic Academy, which trains Emiratis in foreign diplomacy. His hiring came under scrutiny after the Guardian newspaper quoted a leaked email from Leon to the Emirati foreign minister saying he had a strategy to “completely delegitimize” Libya’s Islamist-backed government some five months after he was appointed envoy. Emadeddin Muntasser, co-founder of the Libyan American Public Affairs Council, told The Associated Press that Leon’s actions, including negotiating the high-paying job with the UAE while serving as mediator between Libya’s rival governments, “threaten the future of Libya.” Libya is split between an Islamist-led government in Tripoli and an internationally-recognized government in eastern Tobruk. Both are being urged by the international community to approve a proposed peace agreement. Leon, a Spanish diplomat, said earlier this month he sees no conflict of interest and that the proposed Libya peace agreement is unbiased. He issued a statement last week saying he nonetheless is now reflecting on whether to take the UAE government-funded job after the New York Times, also citing leaked emails, reported the Gulf country sent weapons to the Tobruk-based government in violation of a U.N. arms embargo at the same time it was offering a job to Leon.



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