By Diana Chalhoub
ISTANBUL (AA) – Libya’s prime minister met the crown prince of Abu Dhabi on Wednesday as part of his ongoing tour in the Gulf region.
Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh and Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nayhan met in Abu Dhabi and discussed latest developments in Libya, according to a report by the Emirates News Agency (WAM).
The talks focused on the transitional phase in the conflict-weary North African country, “especially with regard to restoring security and stability and preparing state institutions to launch the development process and prepare for elections.”
Al-Nayhan, who is also deputy supreme commander of the UAE Armed Forces, expressed support for the Libyan people at this “critical moment” and hoped “that the new road map will lead to stability and unity” in the country.
The Libyan premier conveyed his government’s aspiration to see “a unified international position toward Libya in accordance with mutual interests” and “in a way that would enhance stability, security and ensure Libyan sovereignty over all of its territory”.
The two sides also discussed ways to strengthen bilateral relations in the political, security, development, investment, and economic fields, according to WAM.
The UAE was among the countries that supported warlord Khalifa Haftar in his failed offensive to capture Tripoli from the internationally recognized Government of National Accord.
This was Dbeibeh’s second stop on his Gulf tour, with the first being Kuwait on Tuesday where he held talks with the country’s ruler Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Sabah and Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah al-Khalid al-Sabah.
After the UAE, Dbeibeh is also expected to visit Saudi Arabia, according to Al Arabiya news channel.
His tour of the region is “part of the prime minister's efforts to unify the Gulf position regarding Libya, and to strengthen the relationship with all Gulf states on the basis of mutual respect,” a government spokesperson, Mohamed Hammouda, said earlier this week.
Libya has recently witnessed positive developments following a breakthrough on Feb. 5 that saw rival sides agree on a unified new executive authority to lead the country until elections this December.
Mohammad Menfi was chosen as the head of a three-member Presidential Council, while Dbeibeh became the new prime minister.
Last month, the Libyan parliament granted a resounding vote of confidence to Dbeibeh’s government, raising hopes for an end to years of civil war that have ravaged the country since the ouster and killing of strongman Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
* Writing by Ibrahim Mukhtar in Ankara