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Tripoli Reins In UN Envoys

Abdurrahman Mohamed Shalgham, Libya's ambassador to the UN, speaking to reporters after Security Council consultations on the situation in his country on February 22
I reported previously on a contradiction between the positions of Libya's permanent representative to the UN, Abdurrahman Shalgham, and his deputy, Ibrahim Dabbashi, who early on in the current crisis denounced Muammar Qaddafi's regime and asked the UN Security Council to impose sanctions and a "no-fly" zone on his country.

While both ambassadors reunited on February 25, when Shalgham renounced his childhood friend Qaddafi as well, it appears that both may now be out of work.

The UN Secretariat has received a fax from Libyan Foreign Minister Musa Kusa revoking both men's accreditations and asking the UN secretary-general to expel them from the UN.

Technically speaking, there is little to debate here. While embattled, Qaddafi is embattled at home but remains Libya's official head of state; even his harshest critics have not broken diplomatic relations with his government. The UN protocol has clear rules on the subject: permanent representatives of a UN member-state are appointed by its government. If their credentials are not revoked, they represent their countries.

The office of Ban Ki-moon said it was "studying" the request.

-- Nikola Krastev

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at

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