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UAE chief of staff visits Benghazi on 1st day of Eid

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LIBYAPROSPECT – Editorial

The Chief of UAE army staff, Issa Al-Mazroui, arrived in Benghazi, on the first day of Eid Al-Fitr to meet the commander of the army of the House of Representatives (HoR), General Khalifa Haftar.

The media office of Haftar’s forces said that the main reason for the visit is to strengthen the relationship between Libya and the UAE.

Observers commented on this visit saying that it is a message from Abu-Dhabi to the new United Nations envoy, Ghassan Salame, stressing that the UAE militarily support to Haftar would continue, not diplomatic or political.

The observers said that the UAE confronts the international reports on the UAE violations of the arms embargo on Libya. The latest report of the UN experts on Libya revealed that the UAE didn’t respect the international arms embargo on Libya when they provided Haftar’s forces of weapons warplanes and armoured vehicles. The UAE had established even military facilities for Haftar’s forces.

The report revealed that Haftar forces received Belarus made vertical jets and 195 fighting guns, besides other planes.

The report included photos of an air base south the city of Al-Marj, the forces of Haftar headquarter in the east, as the UAE developed the facility. The photos also depicted some fighting jets, other shows engineering work to widen the base.

The photos revealed planes and vertical fighters, developed by American companies exclusively for the UAE, is proof that it provided Haftar with fighting jets for military proposes.

The British Middle East Eye previously confirmed that Haftar used mercenaries to drive Emirati aircraft, based in one of his bases in the east, to bomb Benghazi Defense Brigades positions, last March.

It seems that it was not enough for the UEA, other reports said that it is involved in backing Haftar with mercenaries to drive its jets, as Haftar pilots are not well trained.

Reports also pointed that Emirate facilitated communication between Black Water Company manager, based in UAE, and Haftar. Middle East Eye quoted sources that Black Water company pilots are operating Emirati jets in Haftar’s air base.

Two American journalists revealed in a report relations between Black Water manager, Eric Prince, and Libya when he came for a foothold, but failed and moved to cooperate with Haftar since 2016.

They said that without revealing the nature of contacts, Prince proposed a plan to the European Union, early on 2015, to address illegal migration in Libya, with the approval of high-ranking military official in Libya, but the proposal was refused.

It was revealed that this military official was Haftar when the United States protested China’s approval to open a bank account for Prince, subject to legal investigations, to be revealed that the bank account was meant for Haftar to send money to Prince to hire mercenaries and provide weapons.

Prince’s lawyer, according to the two journalists, protested saying that the American authorities should have summoned Haftar for investigation on money laundering charges, because he is an American citizen, as his two sons Khaled and Saddam.

Last January, Intelligence Online magazine, said that Black Water company provided Haftar with pilots from South America to fly IOMAX AT-802 Emirati jets, based in an eastern base.

The magazine also said that Prince made contracts with the UAE to use a patch of Somali fighters, Black Water company trained in counter-terrorism programs in 2011, some of them arrived in Libya.