Libya’s Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha on Wednesday blamed the current crisis in his country on the interference of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the Libyan affairs and its support to putschist forces.
“The crisis in Libya would not have happened had you stopped your malicious interference in our internal affairs, your support to putschists, dispatch of weapons…and your incitement to violence through your deceptive media,” Bashagha said on Twitter.
The Libyan minister was responding to a tweet by UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash, who accused Libya’s warring parties of seeking to make “tactical gains”.
Bashagha accused the Gulf state of breaching a UN arms embargo by sending weapons to eastern warlord Khalifa Haftar.
“You have used your deceptive media, corrupt money and continuously violated UN resolutions that ban arms exports to Libya in quest of establishing another dictatorship in the region.”
The Libyan government has repeatedly accused the UAE and other regional states of supporting Haftar’s military campaigns against the internationally recognized government in Tripoli.
On Monday, the Libyan army retook Al-Watiya airbase occupied by Haftar’s militias after six years under the putschist forces.
The move came after the Libyan army destroyed three Russian-made Pantsir type air defense systems used by Haftar’s forces that were also supplied by the UAE.
Libya’s government has been under attack by Haftar’s forces since April 2019, with more than 1,000 killed in the violence.
Following the ouster of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libya’s government was founded in 2015 under a UN-led political deal.
*Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara
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