Gargash: UAE solution to Libya’s crisis is deesclation and return to UN-led political process
The UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said on The National Saturday that high on his country’s agenda at present is Libya where Europe, the UAE and like-minded regional states have a common interest.
“Neither Europe nor North Africa, even less so Egypt, the most populated Arab country, can afford a failed state on their doorsteps. Chaos in Libya has already led to the re-emergence of Al-Qaeda and ISIS in the capital, Tripoli. If that chaos continues, it could be contagious in ways that are hard to predict.” He told the National in an interview.
He indicated that The solution to the present crisis in Libya is clear enough, that is an immediate de-escalation, and a return to the United Nations-led process, leading to credible and peaceful elections.
Gargash said whoever wins free elections in Libya must be capable of unifying the country, resolutely combatting terrorist groups, and redeveloping the shattered economy.
“We therefore are strong supporters of the work of Ghassan Salame, the United Nations envoy to Libya, in seeking a political solution to the country’s eight-year-long crisis.” He said.
“In February we brokered an agreement between Libya’s warring parties, hosting both the Tripoli-based political leader Fayez Al Sarraj and Libya’s army chief Khalifa Haftar in Abu Dhabi. Regrettably extremist militias in Tripoli subsequently derailed this agreement in a bid to take control of Libya’s future, Islamist and jihadi groups uniting in support of Al Sarraj. It raised the question, as Jean-Yves Le Drian declared recently, of the ambiguous attitude certain groups linked to political Islamism have with jihadists.” Gargash added.
He indicated that in the Middle East, there are no easy decisions.
“Often, we are faced with the “least worse” of difficult choices, choices that are not always exactly as Western commentators would wish.” He said.