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UN demands 'clarification' of report UAE broke Libya arms embargo

November 13, 2015 at 12:44 pm

UN envoy to Libya, Bernardino Leon, has requested “full clarification” of reports that the UAE shipped arms to Libyan factions in violation of a UN arms embargo.

His comments come following a New York Times article revealed leaked emails which showed the UAE was helping prolong the fighting in Libya and working against a peace agreement being drawn up by Leon and the warring factions.

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“In light of this [New York Times] report, I have decided to request a full clarification of the issue, including from the United Arab Emirate (UAE) authorities, as I take time to reflect on the next steps in my professional career,” Leon said in a statement.

“Given the inaccurate or false information we have seen in previous months regarding the process in Libya and the UN and my role, I believe it is imperative to be extremely cautious about the most recent reports,” he said.

Leon has in recent months had to defend himself against allegations that his acceptance of a high-paying post heading a UAE diplomatic academy would become a “conflict of interest” for his mediating role in Libyan talks. The new role would see him training envoys for the UAE.

The UN Security Council imposed an arms embargo on Libya when anti-government protests were quelled by Gaddafi’s security forces in 2011. The UAE has since backed the Libyan government lead by Abdullah Al-Thinni.