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Iran Press TV

Libyan authorities take into custody suspected UAE spy

Iran Press TV

Thu Nov 12, 2015 7:0PM

Authorities in Libya's capital city of Tripoli say they have arrested a police officer from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on suspicion of serving as a spy.

On Thursday, Tripoli prosecutors released a national ID card and a passport for the suspect, which was identified as Yousuf Saqer Ahmed Mubarak Welayti, a corporal with the Dubai police.

Siddick al-Sour, the head of the prosecutor general's office in Tripoli, said that the man was detained on November 5 and is being questioned.

Although the suspect claims "to have no ties to the Dubai police, but intelligence agents found pictures on his phone of sensitive locations in Tripoli, including a video of the Turkish embassy," Sour added.

However, in a statement, Dubai Police Chief Khamis Mattar al-Mazeina said that Welayti was stripped of his post as a police officer in 2010.

"The arrested suspect's relation with the police had ended five years ago when he was dismissed from military service for his involvement in a moral case," Mazeina said.

Since August 2014, when militias seized Tripoli, Libya has had two parliaments and two governments with one, the General National Congress (GNC), run by the rebels in the capital and the other, which is internationally-recognized, based in the northeastern city of Tobruk.

Authorities in Tripoli accuse the UAE of supporting the Tobruk-based government in the North African country. They further criticize Bernardino Leon, the outgoing UN special envoy for Libya, for accepting to serve as the first director general of the Emirates Diplomatic Academy (EDA).

According to US officials, UAE warplanes secretly bombed what is said to be Daesh targets in Libya from bases in Egypt late last year. Abu Dhabi, however, has not publicly acknowledged its involvement in the campaign.

The UN has proposed the formation of a national unity government in an effort to end the conflict in the North African country. Under the proposal, a nine-member presidential council, including a prime minister, five deputy prime ministers and three senior ministers, will govern Libya.

Libya has been grappling with violence and political uncertainty since 2011.

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