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Sunday , September 27 2020

Libya strongman in UAE for talks

A handout image provided by United Arab Emirates News Agency (WAM) shows Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan (right), shaking hands with Libya’s Khalifa Haftar, the head of the self-proclaimed Libyan National Army on July 8 in Abu Dhabi. (AFP)

Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar has met with UAE leaders for talks on military cooperation, state media said Sunday, days after announcing the retaking of second city Benghazi from jihadists.

Haftar, who has visited the United Arab Emirates regularly in recent months, held talks with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan Saturday on “joint cooperation between the two countries … in combating extremism and terrorist organisations,” state news agency WAM said. The United Nations in June released a report accusing the UAE of supplying helicopters and other military aircraft to Haftar in violation of a UN arms embargo.

Haftar, the head of the self-proclaimed Libyan National Army, on Wednesday announced the “total liberation” of Benghazi, three years after it was overrun by jihadists. Six years after the 2011 uprising that toppled and killed Libyan dictator Muammer Gaddafi , chaos continues to engulf Libya as militants fi ght for power and access to the country’s vast oil reserves. The unrest has provided fertile ground for extremist groups, some with ties to al- Qaeda and the Islamic State group. (AFP)

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