Libya strong­man in UAE for mil­i­tary ‘co­op­er­a­tion’

Kuwait Times - - FRONT PAGE -

Libyan strong­man Khal­ifa Haf­tar has met with UAE lead­ers for talks on mil­i­tary co­op­er­a­tion, state me­dia said yes­ter­day, days after an­nounc­ing the re­tak­ing of sec­ond city Beng­hazi from mil­i­tants. Haf­tar, who has vis­ited the United Arab Emi­rates reg­u­larly in re­cent months, held talks with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mo­hammed bin Zayed AlNahyan Satur­day on “joint co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the two coun­tries... in com­bat­ing ex­trem­ism and ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tions,” state news agency WAM said.

The United Na­tions in June re­leased a re­port ac­cus­ing the UAE of sup­ply­ing he­li­copters and other mil­i­tary air­craft to Haf­tar in vi­o­la­tion of a UN arms em­bargo. Haf­tar, the head of the self-pro­claimed Libyan Na­tional Army, on Wed­nes­day an­nounced the “to­tal lib­er­a­tion” of Beng­hazi, three years after it was over­run by mil­i­tants.

Six years after the 2011 up­ris­ing that top­pled and killed Libyan dic­ta­tor Muam­mar Gaddafi, chaos con­tin­ues to en­gulf Libya as mil­i­tants fight for power and ac­cess to the coun­try’s vast oil re­serves. The un­rest has pro­vided fer­tile ground for ex­trem­ist groups, some with ties to Al-Qaeda and the Is­lamic State group. The UAE in May hosted a meet­ing be­tween Haf­tar and ri­val Fayez Al-Sar­raj, head of the UN-backed Gov­ern­ment of Na­tional Ac­cord (GNA), in a bid to me­di­ate in the po­lit­i­cal con­flict. Haf­tar does not rec­og­nize the author­ity of the Tripoli-based GNA, in­stead back­ing an al­ter­nate gov­ern­ment based in the coun­try’s east. — AFP

ABU DHABI: Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Com­man­der of the UAE Armed Forces Mo­hammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan (right) meets Libya’s Khal­ifa Haf­tar, the head of the self-pro­claimed Libyan Na­tional Army, on Satur­day. — AFP

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