World, Middle East

UAE's top diplomat calls for urgent cease-fire in Libya

Call comes after pro-Haftar Tobruk parliament gives Cairo green light to 'protect Egypt and Libya national security'

Zehra Nur Duz and Ahmed Asmar   | 14.07.2020
UAE's top diplomat calls for urgent cease-fire in Libya

ANKARA

Foreign minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which has supported Libyan warlord Khalifa Haftar, on Tuesday called for an “immediate cease-fire and for wisdom to prevail” in Libya.

"The drums of the war raging around Sirte in Libya threaten serious developments and dangerous humanitarian and political consequences,” Anwar Gargash said in a statement on Twitter.


Gargash also urged parties to the conflict in Libya to enter dialogue within clear international frameworks.

The statement came after Tobruk parliament, affiliated with Haftar, gave Egypt green light to militarily intervene in Libya under the pretext of "protecting the national security" of both countries.

The Tobruk parliament said in a statement late Monday that "the Egyptian armed forces have the right to intervene to safeguard Libyan and Egyptian national security if it [Egypt] foresees an imminent danger that would threaten the security of our countries."

Abdul-Malik al-Madani, spokesman for the Libyan Army, blasted the idea of Egyptian intervention in Libya on behalf of the UN-recognized government led by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj.

"Let's remind them [Egypt] that Sinai [northeastern Egypt] is closer than Sirte and Jufra [areas of Libya held by Haftar], and that the Renaissance Dam is not in Libya but in Ethiopia," al-Madani wrote late Monday on Twitter.

Last month Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi threatened military intervention over Sirte and Jufra.

Al-Madani added: “We’re waiting on them, and before entering [Libya] they have to think about how they will get out.”

The Tobruk parliament headed by Aguila Saleh that supports Haftar has fewer than 30 lawmakers, while the parliament based in the capital Tripoli has more than 70.

Since April 2019, Haftar's illegitimate forces have launched attacks on the Libyan capital of Tripoli and other parts of northwestern Libya, resulting in more than 1,000 deaths, including civilian women and children.

However, the Libyan government has recently achieved significant victories, pushing Haftar's forces out of Tripoli and the strategic city of Tarhuna.

Haftar has been supported internationally by Russia, France, Egypt, and the UAE.

The UAE has been accused by the UN and several human rights groups of breaking a UN arms embargo on Libya by sending weapons and mercenaries to fight for Haftar’s militia in Libya.

A UN report in October revealed that thousands of Sudanese fighters were fighting alongside Haftar’s forces in Libya.

Other media reports, including a recent report by the Guardian, also accused the UAE of transporting hundreds of mercenaries to fight in Libya and Yemen.

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