UAE preparing Aref Al-Nayed to replace Haftar as its man in Libya

Aref Al-Nayed (left) UAE’s Bin Zayed (center) and Khalifa Haftar (right). [Photo: Libyan Express]
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has asked the Speaker of the House of Representatives in Tobruk to appoint Aref Al-Nayed – former Libyan ambassador to the UAE sent by the east-based Interim Government – as the Prime Minister and task him with selecting a new cabinet, a source told Libya Al-Ahrar TV. 

The source added that Speaker Aquila Saleh was in talks to hold an HOR members’ meeting in Cairo to announce the formation of a new Interim Government in the east to be the rival of the internationally recognized Un-backed Government of National Accord (GNA).

Former UAE Libyan ambassador Al-Nayed is the one chosen by Abu Dhabi, but not only for the Prime Minister post, but as the new UAE asset in Libya to replace Khalifa Haftar, who pissed off Abu Dhabi by failing to enter Tripoli after over 95 days of fighting.

The source explained that the UAE is going to impose Al-Nayed and his new government on Haftar as it wants to present civilian figures to make up for the latest failure and chaos created by Haftar and his forces.

“Abu Dhabi threatened Haftar that it would pull out military backup and financial support from him and his forces if he resisted it’s new vision for Libya.” The source told the local TV channel.

The source added that the UAE had informed the UN Support Mission in Libya of the proposed Al-Nayed government in eastern Libya and received no answer yet.

Commenting on the revelation, the member of the High Council of State (HCS) Ashraf Al-Sheh told Libyan Express that this is a UAE ‘Plan B’, which the UAE is trying to pressure Haftar to accept by pushing Egypt into pressing him to be part of a civilian political government for the next stage of the political process.

Al-Sheh said the UAE aims to show the UNSMIL and the international community that the eastern HoR and Haftar are part of a newly formed government “headed by Al-Nayed” so that Haftar can be able to return to the UN-led political process despite his failure to win Tripoli battle.

“They aim to strike new deals with the GNA with this new government headed by Al-Nayed with Haftar in the background.” Al-Sheh remarked.

The UAE is number one backer of Haftar and his military operations in Benghazi, Derna, southern Libya and currently in Tripoli.

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