The United Nations special representative in Libya spent the summer negotiating a £35,000-a-month job with a Gulf state that supports one side in the civil war he was trying to end, the Guardian can reveal.
Bernardino León, the UN peace mediator and a former Spanish foreign minister, was offered a job in June by the United Arab Emirates, the federation of seven absolute monarchies dominated by oil-rich Abu Dhabi, as director general of its “diplomatic academy”.
On Wednesday the UAE announced that León would take over as head of the academy, a state-backed thinktank founded last year to promote the UAE’s foreign policy and strategic relations and train its diplomats. A German diplomat, Martin Kobler, has been appointed his successor at the UN.
León is due to end his previous role on Friday, leaving Libya’s rival factions deadlocked over his plans for a national unity government.
He denies any conflict of interest, saying he had made it clear he wanted to leave his UN role by 1 September. “The only defence I have against these attacks is my work,” he wrote in an email to the Guardian. “As I said before, read my proposals, the agreement and the government proposal. It has been considered by the Libyans from both camps as a fair proposal.” Seguir leyendo...