FILE PHOTO: Libya’s eastern-based military leader Khalifa Haftar is seen in an unknown location in this screen grab taken from a video released on April 27, 2020. LIBYAN NATIONAL ARMY HANDOUT/Reuters TV via REUTERS
DUBAI (Reuters) – The United Arab Emirates on Thursday called on all Libyan parties to commit to the U.N.-supervised political process to end the war, while at the same time saluting the eastern Libya based-army led by General Khalifa Haftar.
The UAE statement did not comment directly on Haftar’s declaration on Monday that his army would take power, ripping up a 2015 political agreement that has been the basis for all international peacemaking efforts.
The UAE “commends the Libyan National Army for conducting anti-terror operations,” a statement by the Emirati Foreign Ministry said, expressing “its categorical rejection of the Turkish military intervention” in support of the rival, Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA).
The statement expressed the UAE’s support for a political solution based on the Berlin conference, calling on “all parties to commit to the political process under the supervision of the United Nations.”
Responding to the UAE’s statement, Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hami Aksoy said the remarks were an attempt by the UAE to “hide their two-faced politics” and said it was providing aid to “putschists” in Libya.
Turkey backs the GNA, Libya’s internationally recognised government, and has signed a military cooperation agreement to help it repel an Haftar’s offensive. Ankara has repeatedly urged world powers to stop supporting Haftar’s forces, which it deems “putschists.”
“The UAE’s actions disrupting international peace, security and stability not just in Libya, but all the region, including Yemen, Syria and Africa, are well known to the international community,” Aksoy said in a statement.
“We call on the UAE leadership to avoid taking a hostile stance against our country and to know its place,” he said, and added that solving the Libyan crisis hinged on backing the GNA and adhering to the 2015 political agreement.
Reporting by Maher Chmaytelli in Dubai and Tuvan Gumrukcu in Ankara; Editing by Alison Williams and Matthew Lewis