Libya calls on UN to lift sanctions


Libya has asked that Ali Abdussalam Treki be accepted as the country's new representative to the UN (AP)

Libya has called for the United Nations to lift sanctions against the country as it replaced the UN diplomats who turned on Muammar Gaddafi.

Gaddafi’s government asked that senior Libyan diplomat Ali Abdussalam Treki be accepted as Libya’s new representative to the world body in New York, a UN spokesman said, and also made it clear it wanted sanctions lifted.

Martin Nesirky, spokesman for UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon, said the UN chief’s office also received a letter requesting that diplomatic credentials for ambassador Mohamed Shalgham and deputy ambassador Ibrahim Dabbashi be no longer recognised.

Both men, and the rest of the staff at Libya’s UN mission, have publicly renounced Gaddafi for the violent crackdown by government forces on protesters seeking to oust the dictator.

Mr Nesirky noted that Libya remained a recognised UN member state and “when any country sends a letter naming the permanent representative, that person is the person who will be recognised”.

Mr Treki will have to present his credentials to Mr Ban in New York to become his country’s new ambassador to the UN

Mr Treki earlier served in the UN post three times and was president of the UN General Assembly for the annual session that ended last August. He was also the country’s foreign minister from 1977 to 1980, and later envoy to the League of Arab States in Cairo and ambassador to France.

Meanwhile, Gaddafi’s government asked the UN Security Council to suspend the sanctions it imposed against Libya a week ago, insisting that “no opposition has been raised to peaceful, unarmed demonstrators”.

A letter disclosed on Friday and addressed to Chinese ambassador Li Baodong, whose country currently holds the monthly rotating presidency, says the Libyan government “regrets” the council’s unanimous decision to impose an arms embargo against the country and an asset freeze and travel ban on Gaddafi, his relatives and top associates. It was signed by Libyan foreign minister Musa Mohammad Kusa.

The February 26 vote was taken “prematurely condemning and penalising the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya when the situation does not require intervention” under the UN charter, the letter says. It adds that force has been used only against “lawbreakers that have included extremist elements” undertaking “acts of destruction and terrorism”.

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