Libya accuses Arab League of double standards

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Arab League

The envoy of Libya’s UN-recognized government to the Arab League on Tuesday accused the bloc of “double standards” on the conflict in Libya.

Saleh Shammakhi, who represents the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), decried what he called the “worst exploitation” by the Arab League of a maritime agreement between Libya and Turkey.

Speaking at a meeting of permanent representatives of the pan-Arab organization, he said that Libya had called upon the Arab League to review its “aggression” against Tripoli through military chief Khalifa Haftar, but that the bloc had not responded.

“The Arab League is applying a double standard policy where it did nothing when we [the GNA] called for an emergency meeting at the start of Haftar’s aggression,” Shammakhi said at the meeting held at the request of Egypt in Cairo.

He added that such a policy pushes the GNA to reconsider the relevance to stay in the organization, questioning the role of the Arab League and it representativeness of all Arabs.

Shammakhi asserted that the GNA faced deliberate distortions and attempts to de-legitimize it, stressing that the maritime agreement with Ankara “was signed in accordance within international law in a way that does not “harm the rights or sovereignty of any country.”

He added that Tripoli was prepared to receive or dispatch experts for the purpose of explaining and clarifying the terms of the agreement to any country.

On Nov. 27, Ankara and Libya’s UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) signed a pact on military cooperation, as well as one on maritime boundaries in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Since the ouster of late leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, two seats of power have emerged in Libya: one in eastern Libya supported mainly by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, and another in Tripoli, which enjoys UN and international recognition.

*Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara

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