Germany's Maas to visit UAE to discuss Libya conflict, Israel ties

Abu Dhabi (dpa) - German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas was scheduled to visit the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday following a trip to Libya, during which he pushed for a de-escalation in the conflict there.

Maas intends to bring up the North African country's long-running civil war while in Abu Dhabi.
The UAE is one of the key foreign supporters of Libyan strongman General Khalifa Haftar, who is locked in a power struggle with UN-backed Prime Minister Fayez Serraj.
Haftar also has support from Egypt and Russia, while Turkey is backing Serraj, making Libya a battleground for rival proxy forces.
Germany's top diplomat, who is to hold talks with UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, is expected to urge his host country to stop sending military support into Libya - one of the commitments agreed to at a peace summit held in Berlin in January, whose resolutions have so far made little difference on the ground.
During his visit, Maas also intends to discuss the recent landmark agreement between the UAE and Israel to establish diplomatic ties.
"With its historic step towards the normalization of relations with Israel, the United Arab Emirates has shown in the past week that it can make an important contribution to peace in the region," Maas said ahead of his trip to the Gulf nation.
Following a surprise announcement on Thursday, the UAE became only the third Arab country after Egypt and Jordan to establish diplomatic links with Israel.
In return, Israel has suspended its planned annexation of parts of the Palestinian West Bank.

Tuesday, August 18th 2020

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