Algeria former foreign minister exits UN Libya envoy race

ALGIERS (AFP) – Algerian ex foreign minister Ramtane Lamamra on Thursday ruled himself out of becoming the next United Nations (UN) envoy to Libya, after diplomats said Washington opposed his nomination.

In a statement to the Algerian press, Lamamra said he had been invited last month by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to take the post.

“I gave my agreement in principle… (but)… consultations carried out by Mr Guterres since then do not seem likely to result in the unanimity of the Security Council,” Lamamra announced.

He said he would therefore be calling the Secretary General “in the coming hours” to withdraw his candidacy.

Libya has been mired in chaos since the 2011 overthrow of longtime dictator Muammar Ghadafi.

The country is divided between the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) and forces loyal to eastern-based military strongman Khalifa Haftar.