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Putin, Mohamed bin Zayed seek to reclaim common ground on Libya

The Russian and UAE leaders spoke Wednesday about the path ahead in Libya, seeking to minimize differences and recharge the political process.

On July 15, Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed about developments in Libya. After their discussion, which was initiated from the Emirati side, Russia stated that it and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) wished to revive inter-Libyan dialogue initiatives and consolidate international efforts on a political-diplomatic settlement of the Libyan crisis. Russia’s official statement placed discussions about Libya within the broader context of a strengthening Russia-UAE strategic partnership, which was forged by both countries in June 2018.

Due to their regular consultations and shared support for Libya National Army (LNA) strongman Khalifa Hifter's offensive on Tripoli, Russia and the UAE are often described as partners in Libya. Albadr Alshateri, a former professor at Abu Dhabi’s National Defense College and commentator on Emirati security policy, told Al-Monitor that “the UAE and Russia are on the same side of the Libyan conflict.” To elaborate on this assertion, Alshateri said that “the UAE sees Russia as a very reliable partner as opposed to Western countries who have to defer to parliaments and civil society pressure. If Vladimir Putin says something, you will have an ironclad commitment that it will be done.”

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