Ashton Appoints Envoy for Libya

EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton has appointed Bernardino León as her personal Special Envoy for Libya.

Mr Leon will facilitate, coordinate and enhance the EU's actions in support of the Libyan people at a critical juncture for the country.

An experienced Spanish diplomat with wide-ranging experience in the region, Mr Leon has devoted most of his career to the Arab world.

He has been since June 2011 the EU Special Representative for the Southern Mediterranean region, and previously Secretary-General at the Spanish Prime Minister's Office as well as Sherpa for the G20.

Catherine Ashton said:

"With his extensive experience and knowledge of the region, Bernardino León is ideally placed for this challenging task. I am confident that, with this reinforced engagement, we will be more effective in supporting Libya in its transition to a democratic society that fulfils the aspirations of its people.

"The European Union remains committed to playing a key role in this process and to strengthening our partnership with Libya in these challenging times."

The EU is deeply concerned by the significant deterioration of the political and security situation in Libya and has repeatedly condemned the continued violence across the country, including the latest clashes in Benghazi.

While the Rome Conference of 6 March 2014 was an unprecedented display of international solidarity and support for the Libyan people and authorities, there is an urgent need for the international community to enhance its engagement.

The EU remains fully committed to support the Libyan authorities and calls on the Libyan government and the General National Congress to work jointly, within an agreed institutional framework based on the Constitutional Declaration, to achieve a peaceful and democratic political transition.

(Source: EU Neighbourhood Info)

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