Al-Sweihli: Is ‘EU’s Operation Irini’ siding with warlord Haftar!

Former Head of High Council of State. [Photo: AFP]
The former Head of the High Council of State, Abdelrahman Al-Sweihli said he had reaffirmed, in a phone call with the US ambassador to Libya Richard Norland, “their right to defeat Haftar’s militias that are shelling Tripoli’s neighborhoods and hospitals and are cutting off water, and reiterated that stopping the aggression is an absolute necessity to unify the efforts to combat the Coronavirus pandemic.”

Al-Sweihli added on his page on Facebook Tuesday that he had warned against the bias of the European naval Operation IRINI, saying it is in favor of the aggressor (Khalifa Haftar).

He expressed support for the Central Bank of Libya in its balanced position to maintain the financial sustainability and the value of the Libyan dinar in light of the lack of oil revenues.

“I reiterated that Ali Al-Habri is responsible for 50 billion dinars in state debts as he used the money to support Haftar, let alone the printing of 12 billion dinars illegally in Russia, which led to the collapse of the Libyan dinar.” Al-Sweihli said.

The EU announced last week the launch of a new naval mission in the Mediterranean Sea, aimed at enforcing the UN arms embargo on Libya, after Italy blocked a previous operation claiming that the warships attracted migrants.

The new operation, dubbed IRINI , the Greek word for “peace,” was launched and will be carried out for a year as of last Wednesday.

The European Council said it will have as “its core task the implementation of the U.N. arms embargo through the use of aerial, satellite and maritime assets.”

“In particular the mission will be able to carry out inspections of vessels on the high seas off the coast of Libya suspected to be carrying arms or related material to and from Libya,” a statement said.

It will also gather information about illegal fuel and oil smuggling from Libya and help build up the Libyan Coast Guard, including by training its personnel.

The EU’s previous naval mission, Operation Sophia, was set up after tens of thousands of migrants began attempting potentially perilous crossings of the Mediterranean in 2015 in search of better lives in Europe.

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