Mohammed Sayal, Foreign Minister in the UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) has condemned the UAE’s “hostile” stance, when Abu Dhabi created a media platform for the forces of retired General Khalifa Haftar, who is leading an armed rebellion against the GNA.
Sayal called on the Security Council to intervene after Haftar’s spokesman Ahmed al-Masmari held a press conference in Abu Dhabi.
Mohamed Sayal accused the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Tuesday of “hostility” and “supporting a coup against the legitimate government.”
In a letter to the Security Council on Sunday, Sayal said the UAE’s action was in “support of the aggressors in the Libyan capital, aiding them in killing Libyans, and supporting further violations and war crimes.”
He added that the UAE’s action is in support of the “coup against the legitimate government, which is a flagrant violation of Security Council resolutions.”
The minister also affirmed Libya’s “right to defend its sovereignty” , and held the UAE morally and legally responsible.
This comes a day after the Presidential Council of the Libyan Government of National Accord issued a statement in which it described Abu Dhabi’s allowing Haftar spokesman to hold his conference as a “hostile attitude”.
The council said that this position indicates “the UAE’s allowing its capital to be a media platform for militias attacking Tripoli”.
During his press conference in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, Haftar’s spokesman al-Masmari appeared to be trying to highlight the UAE’s support for Haftar’s military operation that his forces have launched on Tripoli, which is under the control of a UN-recognized government.
Al-Mesmari rejected the calls made by the UN envoy to Libya, Ghassan Salameh to return to the dialogue table, stressing that “a military solution to the conflict is the best way”.
Libya has been in a near constant state of war since 2011, when a NATO invasion toppled the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya led by Muammar al-Gaddafi.
Since 2014, Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar has led a rebellion against the so-called government in Tripoli, which has been called the Government of National Accord since 2015. While the GNA still maintains official recognition by the UN, its control over Libya is minimal at best, and is mostly centered in Tripoli itself. The majority of Libya has been taken by Haftar’s forces, called the Libyan National Army (LNA) and supported by the House of Representatives that is based in the city of Tobruk.
Reports have surfaced that Haftar has extensive foreign and domestic support, including from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Libya, which is led by Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi.