Around the World in Tweets: Special Envoys


U.S. Special Envoy and Ambassador to Libya Richard Norland Visits Tripoli


On July 26, the State Department announced U.S. Special Envoy and Ambassador to Libya Richard Norland’s visit to Tripoli:

U.S. Special Envoy and Ambassador to Libya Richard Norland visited Tripoli, Libya July 26 where he met with interim Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dabaiba, attended a signing ceremony for a new 5G telecommunications contract between Libyan company Hatif and U.S. company Infinera, and held other meetings with Libyan and international representatives.  Ambassador Norland underscored the need for Libya’s leaders to make key preparations to ensure successful nationwide elections in December, including determining a constitutional basis and the election law that will govern them.  He emphasized that Libya’s leaders must make the necessary compromises to meet the Libyan peoples’ expectation of free and fair elections, an essential step towards a stable, unified, and democratic Libya.  Ambassador Norland also reaffirmed that stability and continued progress on the political and security track will lead to greater economic opportunities, foreign investments, and prosperity for Libyans.  Ambassador Norland was accompanied by Deputy Assistant Secretary of Treasury Eric Meyer.


Libya: U.S. Officials on Highest Level Diplomatic Visit to Tripoli Since 2014

13 Going on 14 — GFM:


Acting Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs Joey Hood and Special Envoy for Libya Richard Norland visited Libya May 18 and underscored U.S. support for Libya’s December 2021 elections. This is the highest level diplomatic visit to Tripoli since 2014. Acting Assistant Secretary Hood and Ambassador Norland met with Libyan interim Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dabaiba, Foreign Minister Najla Mangoush, Head of the Presidential Council Mohamed Menfi, and President of the High National Electoral Commission Dr. Emad al-Sayah and also discussed areas of mutual interest, including a Libyan-led, inclusive, and negotiated political solution to the conflict, facilitated through the UN and full implementation of the October 23 Libyan ceasefire agreement.

Related posts:

U.S. Ambassador to Libya Richard Norland to Also Serve as U.S. Special Envoy for Libya

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On May 10, 2021, the State Department announced the appointment of US Ambassador to Libya Richard Norland as U.S. Special Envoy for Libya. Prior to his appointment to Libya, Ambassador Norland also served as U.S. Ambassador to Uzbekistan and later to Georgia. Below is the State Department announcement:

The Department of State is pleased to announce that U.S. Ambassador to Libya Richard Norland will now also serve in the capacity of U.S. Special Envoy for Libya in addition to Chief of Mission for Libya. In his role as U.S. Special Envoy, Ambassador Norland will lead U.S. diplomatic efforts to promote international support for a Libyan-led, inclusive, and negotiated political solution to the conflict, facilitated through the UN.

Ambassador 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 U.S. 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. 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.

Ambassador Norland also will work closely with interagency colleagues in Washington, civil society, and humanitarian partners to further the U.S. role in actively supporting the Libyan people as they seek lasting peace, security, and prosperity in their country. The U.S. Special Envoy will also keep Congress closely informed of our efforts.

At the May 10th DPB, a reporter inquired about Ambassador Norland’s new title:

QUESTION: I’m having trouble figuring out what exactly he’s going to be doing different today than he was doing, like, last week.

MR PRICE: Well, so obviously, last week he was not the special envoy. He is —

QUESTION: Yeah, I know. But other than having a new title, it sounds like he’s doing exactly the same thing as he was before. So why give him – why does he need this new title?

MR PRICE: Because the mandate he is taking on now will require him to engage on behalf of the U.S. Government with other partner nations —

QUESTION: Yeah, but —

MR PRICE: — serving beyond his role of chief of mission in Libya. As special envoy, he’ll have the remit to engage other governments, civil society, congress as well.

QUESTION: He didn’t before? I mean, he lives in Tunis, which is a different country.

MR PRICE: Right. But this gives him an elevated profile —

QUESTION: So he didn’t have the latitude to deal with the Italians or with the Maltese or with the Tunisians before?

MR PRICE: I think we wanted to make it very clear the priority we attach to this, and naming Ambassador Norland as a special envoy would give him that added remit.