HOR Foreign Affairs Committee: El-Sonni Accreditation as Libya’s Delegate to the UN is a Violation of Libyan Legislation – Al Marsad

Ibrahim Al-Dabbashi, a former Libyan Permanent Representative to the UN, said that Taher El-Sonni had a “difficult choice“ as representative of Fayez al-Sarraj at the UN.

[Libya, 9 January 2020] – Al-Dabbashi in a post on his personal Facebook page last Tuesday queried: “Does El-Sonni implement Trump’s instructions as an American citizen or Erdogan’s instructions as directed by Sarraj? American law has no mercy for its citizens.”

This week Taher El-Sonni presented his credentials to the Secretary-General of the UN as the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord’s (GNA) Permanent Representative to the United Nations, replacing Mahdi al-Mujrabi. The head of the GNA, Fayez al-Sarraj, issued last September the decision to appoint El-Sonni to the new diplomatic post.

Prior to his latest appointment, El-Sonni was the Senior Political Adviser to Al-Seraj and the GNA since 2016, and was also the Political Adviser to the House of Representatives and a negotiating member during the Libyan Political Dialogue at Skhirat in 2015. In 2009 El-Sonni worked for the United Nations Office in Gaza.

The appointment of El-Sonni as Permanent Representative to the UN caused a great deal of criticism in Libya. Many argued that he lacked experience for the post but others accused Sarraj of nepotism in the selection of ambassadors.

Taher El-Sonni with the head of the tripoli-based GNA, Fayez Al-Sarraj.

Furthermore, a document obtained by Al Marsad indicated that El-Sonni, during the period when he was a Political Adviser to Sarraj, was taking a salary from the Libyan Mission to the League of Arab States in Cairo.

The furore over the El-Sonni’s diplomatic appointment deepened yesterday, when the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Libyan Parliament held a meeting in Tobruk and rejected the UN Secretary-General António Guterres’s approval of Taher El-Sunni as a delegate of Libya to the UN. The Libyan Parliament urged Guterres to reverse the decision.

“Approval of the accreditation of Taher El-Sonni, as a delegate of Libya to the United Nations, is a violation of Libyan legislation that stipulates the necessity of parliament’s approval, as well as the law regulating political and consular work,” according to a statement given to the Sputnik news agency by the head of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Libyan Parliament, Yusuf al-Aqouri. He added, “Taher lacks the competency and experience required for this sensitive and important post.”

Al-Aqouri argued that the appointment of El-Sonni was also a violation of the provisions of the Skhirat Agreement, as it requires approval by the Libyan Parliament and not the Presidential Council.

“The Foreign Committee has sent a legal memo to Mr António Guterres, Secretary-General of the UN, clarifying the legal circumstances of the matter and requesting the Secretary-General to reject the appointment decision,” explained Al-Aqouri.

© Al Marsad English (2020)