On Tuesday, Bulgarian diplomat Nikolay Mladenov, told Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, that he will not be able to assume the post of the UN envoy to Libya next year for personal and family reasons.
Last week, the U.N. Security Council last week approved Guterres’s proposal to appoint Mladenov as envoy to Libya and Norwegian Tor Wennesland to succeed Mladenov as Middle East envoy.
The Bulgarian diplomat has been the U.N. Middle East envoy since 2015 and he was charged with mediating between Israel and the Palestinians.
Mladenov told Guterres on Monday that, when his current role finishes on Dec. 31, he will resign from the United Nations and “will not be able to take up the position as special envoy for Libya … for personal and family reasons,” U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters.
Acting Libya envoy Stephanie Williams will continue in the role, Dujarric said.
Mladenov was due to replace Ghassan Salame, who stepped down as the U.N. Libya envoy in March due to stress.
Libya descended into chaos after the NATO-backed overthrow of leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. In October, the two major sides in the country’s war – Government of National Accord (GNA) and the Libyan National Army (LNA), commanded by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, agreed a ceasefire.