14 – 20 Aug: US Ambassador to Libya takes up post

Aug 21, 2019 | International actors

On 17 August, the US Embassy in Libya announced that the new US Ambassador to Libya, Richard Norland, had assumed his duties on 14 August, following his nomination by the US President and confirmation by the US Senate. In a statement on 15 August, Norland said that the arrival of a new US Ambassador to Libya signals a desire by Washington to intensify diplomatic engagement with all parties to the conflict. He said the US supports the UN-led efforts to find a negotiated political solution to the crisis in Libya and was encouraged by the “Eid truce”.

On 19 August, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held a phone call with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry to express US concerns about the evolving crisis in Libya. A statement from the US State Department said the two agreed on “the need to achieve a political solution to the conflict” and expressed concern over the instability and prolonged violence in the country.

On 17 August, the UN confirmed that it had sent an investigation team to investigate LNA airstrikes against Zuwara Airport and concluded, “there is no indication of military use of Zuwara Airport, which is a civilian facility”. UNSMIL condemning the attacks and said that it would share information with the UN Security Council (UNSC) and UN Panel of Experts. On 19 August, the US embassy to Libya issued a statement expressing its concern about the targeting of civilian aviation facilities in Libya.