UAE fails to bring Haftar and Libyan PM to one table, Africa Intelligence says

UAE fails to bring Haftar and Libyan PM to one table, Africa Intelligence says

November 17, 2021 - 19:16
Posted in:
Written By: AbdulkaderAssad

Africa Intelligence said after several weeks of intense diplomatic to-ing and fro-ing, the United Arab Emirates have not managed to convince "their protégé, Khalifa Haftar, to secure an agreement with the head of the interim government, Abdul-Hamid Dbeibah."

According to Africa Intelligence sources, the negotiations initiated in mid-October in Abu Dhabi between emissaries of Haftar and those of current Libyan Prime Minister ended in failure, as Haftar resisted UAE pressure to reach any kind of deal with Dbeibah, including in the very likely event of a postponement or cancellation of the legislative and presidential elections scheduled for 24 December.

The report said Emirati Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan (MBZ) has long been one of Haftar's main sponsors, giving him significant diplomatic and financial support, and massively equipping his forces despite the arms embargo, adding that MBZ and his advisers now fear losing their hard-won positions on the Libyan chessboard.

"Haftar's offensive on Tripoli in April 2020 ended in failure, with the city's authorities able to counter the attack thanks to strong military support from Turkey." It added, saying Haftar has also failed to fully establish his forces in Fezzan - Libya's deep south - of which he controls only pockets because Haftar's other diplomatic backers, such as Paris and Cairo, have opted for a more moderate approach, while Egyptian President Abdelfattah Al-Sisi does not want an open confrontation with Turkey.

Africa Intelligence said Haftar has flatly dismissed the UAE's attempts to play go-between and remains dead set on the presidential election being held, and for which he announced his official candidacy on 16 November. Haftar has never been directly involved in the talks with the Dbeibah camp, leaving this to his son Belkacem Haftar, who plays the role of political adviser.