Libya seeks new UN ambassador

AP News
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Posted: Mar 04, 2011 7:58 PM
Libya seeks new UN ambassador

Moammar Gadhafi's government has requested that senior Libyan diplomat Ali Abdussalam Treki be accepted as Libya's new representative to the world body in New York, a U.N. spokesman said Friday.

Libya also made it clear it wants United Nations sanctions lifted.

Martin Nesirky, spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, said Friday that the U.N. chief's office also received a letter requesting that diplomatic credentials for Ambassador Mohamed Shalgham and Deputy Ambassador Ibrahim Dabbashi be no longer recognized.

Both men, and the rest of the staff at Libya's U.N. mission, have publicly renounced Gadhafi for a violent crackdown by government forces on protesters seeking his ouster.

Nesirky noted that Libya remains a recognized U.N. member state and "when any country sends a letter naming the permanent representative, that person is the person who will be recognized."

Treki will have to present his credentials to Ban in New York to become his country's new ambassador to the U.N.

Treki earlier served in the U.N. post three times and was president of the U.N. General Assembly for the annual session that ended last August. He also was the country's foreign minister from 1977 to 1980, and later envoy to the League of Arab States in Cairo and ambassador to France.

Shalgham and Dabbashi could not be located for comment on Friday. Phones at the Libyan mission rang unanswered.

Meanwhile, Gadhafi's government asked the U.N. Security Council to suspend the sanctions it imposed against Libya a week ago, insisting that "no opposition has been raised to peaceful, unarmed demonstrators."

A letter disclosed on Friday and addressed to Chinese Ambassador Li Baodong, whose country currently holds the monthly rotating presidency, says the Libyan government "regrets" the council's unanimous decision to impose an arms embargo against the country and an asset freeze and travel ban on Gadhafi, his relatives and top associates. It was signed by Libyan Foreign Minister Musa Mohammad Kusa.

The Feb. 26 vote was taken "prematurely condemning and penalizing the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya when the situation does not require intervention" under the U.N. charter, the letter says.

The letter says force has been used only against "lawbreakers that have included extremist elements" undertaking "acts of destruction and terrorism."