France, Britain, Egypt, UAE, United States, Italy call for immediate end of hostilities in Libya

A migrant picks up clothes from among rubble at a detention centre for mainly African migrants that was hit by an airstrike in the Tajoura suburb of the Libyan capital of Tripoli. (Reuters)
Updated 17 July 2019

France, Britain, Egypt, UAE, United States, Italy call for immediate end of hostilities in Libya

  • The six countries reiterated in a rare joint statement their deep concern
  • Nearly 1,100 people have been killed in the fighting

LONDON: France, UK, Egypt, the UAE, US and Italy on Tuesday called for an immediate end of hostilities around Tripoli and warned of attempts by "terrorist groups" to take advantage of the political void in Libya.

The six countries reiterated in a rare joint statement their deep concern over the ongoing hostilities in Tripoli and called for an immediate de-escalation, end of the current fighting, and urged a rapid return to the political process under the auspices of the UN. 

They warned that the fighting "has fueled a growing humanitarian emergency," aggravating a crisis with migrants, and voiced fear that extremists would thrive in the security vacuum.

The countries "call on all parties to the Tripoli conflict to dissociate themselves from all such terrorists and individuals designated by the UN Sanctions Committee, and renew our commitment to see those responsible for further instability held accountable," they said.

Nearly 1,100 people have been killed in the fighting.

While backing the government, Western powers earlier this year sent mixed signals, with US President Donald Trump praising Khalifa Haftar in a phone call and France and Italy welcoming him on visits.


UAE in seeks to boost its high-tech military industry

Updated 11 min 21 sec ago

UAE in seeks to boost its high-tech military industry

  • The UAE is reshaping a military industry already seen as the region’s most sophisticated
  • The UAE’s defence industry dates back two decades

DUBAI: The United Arab Emirates is making a push to develop high-tech military hardware that would give it control over critical defence capabilities and lessen reliance on imports.

Wary of threats from rival Iran, and concerned over moves by some allies to hold up arms sales, the UAE is reshaping a military industry already seen as the region’s most sophisticated.

State defence companies have been brought together to form EDGE, a $5-billion conglomerate to spearhead development of advanced weapons for the country’s military.

Those ambitions were put on display at this week’s Dubai Airshow where the military handed an EDGE company a $1 billion contract for guided missiles.

“Like many countries, on specific critical capabilities you want to have sovereignty,” EDGE Chief Executive Faisal al-Bannai told Reuters.

The UAE’s defence industry dates back two decades, built through joint ventures and technology transfer programmes.

Much of it now sits under EDGE, manufacturing drones, small ammunitions and providing maintenance.

Abdulla al-Hashimi, assistant undersecretary for support services at the UAE Ministry of Defence, said sovereign capabilities were a “necessity” for security and the economy.