By Libya Herald reporters.
Tunis, 22 May 2016:
If the Presidency Council head Faiez Serraj was trying the persuade the UAE to drop . . .[restrict]its support for the House of Representatives, the Abdullah Thinni government and armed forced commander-in-chief Khalifa Hafter, he appears to have drawn a blank during his visit to the Emirates today.
After Serraj’s talks with UAE deputy prime minister Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi, the UAE put out a statement which stressed the need to uphold the Libyan Political Agreement. This means that, in its view, until the HoR has endorsed the Government of National Accord, the GNA and the State Council have no legal standing.
It is not clear if Serraj and Sheikh Mansour also discussed Article 8 of the LPA which would vest control of Libyan institutions, not least the armed forces, in the hands of the Presidency Council. This would almost certain jeopardise Hafter’s position. Hafter is widely believed to have received military support from the UAE, in contravention of the 2011 UN Libyan arms embargo.
Nevertheless, the local WAM news agency said that Mansour insisted the the UAE backed Libyan efforts for unity. He agreed with Serraj that the priority was combatting terrorism. To that end, he said, security and stability had to be restored to Libya and its institutions. [/restrict]