Richard Norland confirmed as new U.S. ambassador to Libya

By Sami Zaptia.

Richard Norland was confirmed as the new U.S. ambassador to Libya last Wednesday (Photo: U.S. embassy Tripoli).

London, 19 August 2019:

Richard Norland has been confirmed as the new U.S. ambassador to Libya. He succeeds Peter Bodde.

The U.S. embassy announced on Saturday that he had assumed his duties from 14 August, following his nomination by the U.S. President and confirmation by the U.S. Senate.

The statement said that Norland welcomes the opportunity for dialogue with all Libyans.

It said that he has, so far, appreciated the opportunity to present himself to GNA Prime Minister Faiez Sarraj, Foreign Minister Mohamed Siala, Minister of Interior Fathi Bashagha and Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar as part of expanded outreach to all Libyans.

It added that he has also met with UN SRSG Ghassan Salame to discuss ways to achieve a negotiated solution to the political crisis in Libya, and that he looks forward to meeting additional Libyan representatives in the coming days and weeks in support of efforts to achieve a resolution of the Libyan crisis.

In a statement dated 15 August, Norland said that the arrival of a new U.S. Ambassador to Libya signals a desire by Washington to intensify diplomatic engagement with all parties to the conflict.

“Our goal is clear: end the fighting and support UN efforts led by UN SRSG Ghassan Salamé to achieve a negotiated political solution to the crisis in Libya.

The U.S. was encouraged by the Eid truce, which demonstrated the need for a comprehensive ceasefire and the redoubling of efforts to re-launch a political process. We believe all Libyans deserve to live in peace and benefit from the country’s wealth. The U.S. calls on all external parties to join this effort.

As Ambassador, I commit myself to work towards an early end to this conflict. I am eager to meet with a wide cross-section of Libyans as soon as possible and look forward to the day when security conditions permit us to return to Libya.”

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