UAE says GNA has refused ceasefire in Libya, rejects ‘false accusations’ in UN letter

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The UAE has accused Libya's UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) and its Turkish backers of refusing to accept a ceasefire in the country, and rejected GNA accusations that Abu Dhabi violated a UN arms embargo by sending arms to the GNA’s rival the Libyan National Army (LNA).

On May 13, GNA Foreign Minister Mohamed Taha Siala delivered a letter to the UN Security Council, in which he said that the UN should “take a stand” against LNA leader Gen. Khalifa Haftar, whose forces have been fighting against the GNA outside Tripoli since April. The GNA subsequently accused the UAE of supplying arms to the LNA in contravention of the UN arms embargo on the country.

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The UAE’s Ambassador to the UN Lana Nusseibeh formally rejected these “false accusations” in a letter to the UN on Monday, in which she also outlined how the GNA and Turkey had refused to halt fighting in Libya.

“The United Arab Emirates categorically rejects, as false and unfounded, any allegation that the United Arab Emirates has not complied with the Security Council’s sanctions measures on Libya,” wrote Nusseibeh.

“The Permanent Representative of Libya’s regrettable and unfounded allegations are refuted by the United Arab Emirates’ clear and consistent position on the conflict in Libya, which the United Arab Emirates has repeatedly shared with the United Nations and the international community,” she said.

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UAE: GNA position ‘dangerous and irresponsible’

Nusseibeh also repeated the UAE’s call for a ceasefire in Libya, to which she said that the GNA had refused to agree.

“Of greatest concern to my Government is that instead of responding to the multitude of calls for the Libyan parties to the conflict to cease hostilities, including those made by the United Arab Emirates, the other parties to the Joint Declaration, and the Secretary-General, the Permanent Representative of Libya’s statement on 19 May 2020 suggests that the Government of National Accord has no intention to cease its military activities and to reengage in a peaceful political process,” she said.

Nusseibeh described the GNA’s position as “dangerous and irresponsible,” especially due to the ongoing threat from the coronavirus pandemic in the war-torn country.

However, the United Nations mission to Libya said late on Monday that the two sides had agreed to restart ceasefire talks.

The UN-recognized GNA is based in Tripoli and has been accused of relying on support from extremist militias. It is backed by Turkey, who has allegedly sent thousands of Syrian mercenaries to fight against the LNA, which has recently captured ground around Tripoli.

Read more: Libyan health facilities under attack as coronavirus threat looms