UAE Maintains Divisive Role in Libya

(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff)


Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj traveled to Abu Dhabi on Sunday where he met with Deputy Prime Minister Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan to discuss the latest developments in Libya.

In a statement issued after the meeting between Sarraj and Sheikh Mansour in the presidential palace, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) stressed the importance of defeating ISIS forces in Libya and called for the implementation of the Libyan political Agreement (LPA), according to the North Africa Post.

During the meeting between the two Prime Ministers, Sheikh Mansour did not pledge his support to Sarraj, rather he reaffirmed that the UAE encouraged the unification of Libya under the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) only after the House of Representatives (HoR) in the east gave their endorsement to the unity government.

Under the LPA, which was signed on December 17, 2015 in Morocco by all parties in Libya, the Tobruk-based House of Representatives (HoR), which was designated as the unity government’s parliament, was required to conduct a symbolic vote of confidence to endorse the unity government two weeks after signing the agreement, however they have yet to do so.

In addition, despite the United Nations Security Council’s call on all UN Member States to end official contact with any parallel institutions that claim legitimacy in Libya, the UAE continues to undermine Libya’s attempts at unification and national resolve by supporting the HoR and General Khalifa Haftar who is loyal to the parliament in the east.

Last month, the UAE sent an illegal shipment of several donated Armored Personal Carriers (APC) and military pick-up trucks to General Haftar’s self-proclaimed “Libyan National Army” (LNA).

The UAE’s continued support of the HoR and the rogue General Haftar, despite an international and local call for all political parties and armed groups in Libya to unify under the GNA, remains a major political obstacle facing Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj’s unity government.

The United States and the European Union sanctioned HoR President Aguila Saleh along with President Nouri Abusahmain, and Prime Minister Khalifa al-Ghwell of Libya’s other rival government based in Tripoli, the General National Congress (GNC) for their roles in obstructing Libya’s political transition to the new unity government.

The international community’s expectation of the HoR’s vote of confidence has lessened with each day, and the GNA had no choice but to move forward and overcome the HoR’s attempts to stall Libya’s political transition and unity.

Last week Sarraj gave Libya’s Minister’s permission to start working, and earlier this month announced the establishment of the presidential Guard, which is responsible for protecting the headquarters of the Presidency Council and other public institutions.

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