x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Libya seeks UAE help in training forces

Visiting Libyan Prime Minister Dr Ali Zidan wants Emirates' expertise to help build up security.

Dr Ali Zidan, the prime minister of Libya, left, and his foreign minister, Mohamed Abdelaziz, prepare to greet members of the UAE Libyan expatriate community at Emirates Palace hotel in Abu Dhabi. Both said they hoped Libya could learn from the UAE's expertise in security issues.
Dr Ali Zidan, the prime minister of Libya, left, and his foreign minister, Mohamed Abdelaziz, prepare to greet members of the UAE Libyan expatriate community at Emirates Palace hotel in Abu Dhabi. Both said they hoped Libya could learn from the UAE's expertise in security issues.

ABU DHABI // Libya is seeking the UAE's help in building and developing its security forces, hoping to borrow from the country's expertise in policing and military training.

The Libyan prime minister Dr Ali Zidan said the UAE had given military, security and humanitarian support since the uprising to oust Muammar Qaddafi began two years ago.

But Dr Zidan said that as the North African country matured it needed help to build up law enforcement.

Yesterday he discussed increasing cooperation with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.

"Many of our youth in the revolution have come to the UAE and many of them study here," Dr Zidan said.

"The UAE has provided us with military, security and humanitarian assistance when we needed it and we have come to sustain and develop it to create more positive results."

Mohamed Abdelaziz, Libya's foreign minister, said help was crucial to build effective military and police forces.

"We do not need financial support as we have revenues from the 1.6 million barrels a day we produce," Mr Abdelaziz said. "What we are looking for from the UAE is their experience and lessons learnt in the security field, to help us train the militias that have been absorbed."

The government has absorbed more than 70 per cent of the fighters into the country's armed forces and police, and helped some continue their education, Mr Abdelaziz said.

Now it hoped to turn the security services into professionals, with the UAE police forces as models.

"I am very impressed with the level of expertise and development of Dubai Police as well as Abu Dhabi Police," said Mr Abdelaziz.

"We want the ministries of interior and defence to help us develop our security and train our men."

The state news agency Wam reported that Sheikh Mohammed expressed his hope the transition in Libya would meet the aspirations of the people for more stability and security to continue progress and development.

Sheikh Mohammed also stressed the UAE has an open door for the Libyans to exchange expertise, establish partnerships and to benefit from the Emirati experience.

This, he said, would contribute to a steady building of institutions and achieving a new start, with benefits for national reconciliation.

In a meeting earlier yesterday Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, said the leadership, Government and people of the UAE unconditionally supported just and legitimate causes in the Arab world.

Dr Zidan briefed the Vice President on Libya's political and economic transformation and said Libya was willing to draw lessons from the UAE's development, especially in infrastructure, property, trade, security, ports, education and tourism.

He also explained Libya's vision and plans to the public in a lecture at the Emirates Palace hotel.

Dr Zidan and Mr Abdelaziz called on the youth to have patience as the process of development continued.

"We welcome private companies and investments but our priority is you, the Libyan youth," Dr Zidan said.

He said the need for securing the country was paramount and that economic development depended on using the strengths of the Libyan people.

"We need more educated experienced youths in government positions as development grows," Dr Zidan said.

His calls were met with a warm reception by the Libyan community.

"As Libyans we were hoping for what he said," said Issa Buherora, a Libyan resident who lived and studied in Abu Dhabi before the revolution, and went back to fight before returning for work in Dubai.

"We might now have minor security issues but I am happy with the plan and direction the prime minister's government is taking.

"The government has also presented us as Libyans with 50,000 job opportunities in the oil sector, which clearly shows their intentions."

 

amustafa@thenational.ae