UN chief appoints Egyptian as special envoy for Western Sahara
Published: Oct 13, 2009 09:38 AM Updated: May 25, 2011 01:03 PM

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed Hany Abdel-Aziz of Egypt as his Special Representative for Western Sahara and the Head of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO), the UN announced Monday in a press statement.

Abdel-Aziz will succeed Julian Harston, who was appointed as Director of the United Nations Office in Belgrade on March 2009.

"The Secretary-General is grateful both to Mr. Harston and to Major General Jingmin Zhao of China, who has been fulfilling the responsibilities of Officer-in-Charge of the Mission for the past seven months, for their dedication and tireless work in fulfilling those responsibilities," said the statement, adding that Abdel-Aziz "brings wide-ranging and in-depth knowledge to the position."

Currently serving as Director of Mission Support in the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC), Abdel-Aziz has "garnered some 25 years of experience at the United Nations," it added. 

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