Published: 2020-12-16 15:46
Last Updated: 2021-02-26 14:02
On Tuesday, the UN Security Council gave UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres the green light to appoint Bulgarian Nikolai Mladenov and Norwegian Tor Wennesland as new UN envoys to Libya and the Middle East, respectively, diplomats told AFP.
Wennesland, 68, a Norwegian diplomat specializing in Middle East issues, who has held various positions in Tel Aviv, Ramallah and Cairo, will succeed Mlanenov as the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process.
According to diplomats, Russia called on Guterres to issue the appointment of Mladenov and Wennesland at the same time, for fear that the United States would take advantage of the "vacuum" in the position of the UN envoy to the Middle East to make more concessions to the Israeli Occupation before the end of Donald Trump's term on January 20.
In addition to his diplomatic duties, Wennesland was an advisor to former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and the International Quartet's envoy to the Middle East between 2007 and 2008, and he was an advisor to one of the architects of the Oslo Accords, Terje Roed-Larsen, in 1996.
Wennesland is currently the Norwegian government's special envoy to the Middle East.