Report: Metri to be Appointed U.N. Special Envoy to Libya
Libya agreed on a decision taken by United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon to appoint Lebanon's ex-Information Minister Tarek Metri as U.N. special envoy to Tripoli and head of the U.N. Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL).
Metri will succeed British Ian Martin as head of UNSMIL, whose tenure will end on October 14, a Libyan diplomat told An Nahar newspaper on Thursday.
U.N.’s top political official, Jeffrey Feltman expressed confidence that the “U.N. will support Metri and UNSMIL personnel to help the Libyan people in the transition process towards democracy.”
Metri has a “distinguished” academic background, a U.N. official said. He has handled several ministerial posts in Lebanon between April 2005 until June 2011, including administrative reform, environment, foreign affairs and information ministries.
He is a prominent academic figure and has taught at the St. Joseph University, Balamand University and the University of Geneva.
He earned a doctorate in social sciences from the University of Paris, after studying chemistry and philosophy at the American University of Beirut.
Metri has extensive experience promoting Christian-Muslim relations and has published on the subject.
The Libyan diplomat criticized U.N.’s general secretariat, saying it committed a “huge procedural mistake.”
“Ban didn’t inform the Libyan authorities that the tenure of Matin ended and he didn’t inform them of the appointment of Metri,” the diplomat said.
He noted that Libyan authorities demanded the U.N. to officially inform it of the decision as its approval is vital.
“We are not opposing his appointment, as he is an excellent” candidate, the diplomat added.