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US moves against UAE ally in Libya

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13 members of the US House Foreign Affairs Committee have sent a letter to Foreign Minister Mike Pompeo urging him to declare Washington’s clear refusal to attack retired Libyan General Khalifa Hafter, an ally of the UAE regime, onTripoli and to bolster the UN-led peace process.

MPs from the Democratic and Republican parties called on Pompeo to call for a ceasefire in Libya and work with international partners to ensure its implementation.

The MPs said that the White House statement on a telephone call between US President Donald Trump and Khalifa Hafer in mid-April raised doubts about the US position. Trump expressed support for “the role of Haftar in the war against terrorism.”

The MPs added in their letter that the armed parties in Libya benefit from this confusion on US policy as a justification for continuing the conflict and undermining the prospects for a political settlement.

Among the signatories to the letter are Republican members Ted Liu, Joe Wilson, and Democratic Representative Ilhan Omar.

During a visit to Washington, Ahmed Maiteeq, deputy head of the Libyan Government of National Salvation, said that the US administration had assured him of his support for his government. He called on Washington to press its Arab allies to stop supporting Haftar.

Maiteeq met with State Department officials and a number of members of Congress, but the US State Department seemed to be more cautious, calling for stability in Libya, a cease-fire in Tripoli and a resumption of negotiations between Fayez al-Sarraj and Hafter.

The presidential council of the Government of National Salvation yesterday condemned what it called “international silence” regarding the targeting of Hafar forces in the capital. The council accused Haftar forces of shelling two field hospitals in Al-Sawani and Ain Zara areas south of Tripoli.

Since April 4, Tripoli has been battling a military operation to control it, amid widespread international condemnation and fears of not reaching a political solution to the crisis.

The UAE supports the Haftar militias with money and military hardware and even battles on the ground in an effort to strengthen their conspiracies aimed at spreading chaos and undermining stability in Libya and plundering its wealth and capabilities.

Libya has suffered, since the death of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, a struggle for legitimacy and power between the government of reconciliation in the West and Haftar in the East.