The United States on Monday named Richard Norland, US ambassador to Libya, as the US special envoy for the country, the US State Department said, to lead diplomatic efforts for a negotiated political solution in the North African country.
The appointment comes as the Presidential Council, which functions as Libya's head of state for now, was chosen through a United Nations-facilitated process that also selected a new Government of National Unity that took office in March, replacing rival administrations in east and west.
Norland, a Career Minister in the Foreign Service and a three-time ambassador, has served as Chief of Mission at the Libya External Office in Tunis since August 2019.
The addition of the US Special Envoy role to Ambassador Norland’s Chief of Mission responsibilities signifies the importance the United States attaches to focused, high-level diplomatic outreach in support of the Libyan political process culminating in elections on December 24, 2021, said the State Department.
He will work closely with key partners to strengthen efforts to keep the political process on track and ensure the removal of foreign forces from Libya.
Norland also will work closely with interagency colleagues in Washington, civil society, and humanitarian partners to further the US role in actively supporting the Libyan people as they seek lasting peace, security, and prosperity in their country.