By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli, 11 Spetember 2014:
Prime Minister Abdullah Al-Thinnihas rebuffed claims that the UAE and Egypt collaborated to . . .[restrict]bomb positions held by Misratan-led Operation Dawn forces in Tripoli last month.
The Prime Minister was speaking in the UAE where he is hoping to drum up further support from it during the present crisis. Thinni, President of the House of Representatives Ageela Saleh and Major-General Abdulrazzak Nazhuri, the Chief of Staff, arrived in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday for talks.
“I am absolutely sure that Egypt and the UAE are not implicated in this and that there is no evidence,” Thinni said. “Whoever has evidence should present it to us,” he was quoted as saying by the Emirati daily The National during a meeting with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
A string of US officials had said they believed Egypt and the UAE were behind the strikes, including spokespersons for the Pentagon and State Department.
The Prime Minister also commented on the status of a number of Libyans, living in the UAE, who were taken into custody shortly after the air raids in Tripoli. Previous reports, including statements from the families of the arrested men, had claimed that as many as 30 Libyan nationals had been arrested in the Emirates. Thinni said however that only seven were being held.
“Our embassy has undertaken all legal measures and I trust the UAE judiciary,” he said. “If they are guilty, they will be given due process. If they are innocent, we most definitely trust the UAE judiciary and the UAE government, and we trust that they will be set free,” he said.
A number of human rights groups, including Human Right Solidarity Libya, have expressed deep concern over what they called the “arbitrary” arrests of (they claim) nine Libyan businessmen and have called on the Libyan government to take action to secure their release.
For his part, Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed stressed the importance of respecting the will of the Libyan people in settling its affairs, the Emirati news agency WAM reported, but that it had to be “based on legitimacy of sovereign institutions, including, among others, the elected House of Representatives.”
In Dubai, Thinni met UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and the Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, and briefed him on the situation in Libya. Sheikh Mohammed likewise reiterated his support “for Libya and its legitimate national institutions that include the House of Representatives”.