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Dbeibeh working to normalize with Israel through Abu Dhabi to stay in power, sources say – Libya latest


Libyan sources report that the Prime Minister of the Interim Government of National Unity in Tripoli, Abdul Hamid Debebe, is stepping up the pace of normalizing relations with Israel through Abu Dhabi. “Dbeibeh asked Aviv to seek the support of the United States to remain in the government in exchange for normalization and an open relationship.”

Dbeibeh has formed a special team in coordination with Israel, led by Libya’s ambassador to Abu Dhabi, Sofian Salem Al-Shaibani, the source asked not to be named, told Libyan Update. Al-Shaibani, appointed as ambassador to Abu Dhabi in January 2022, is also the son-in-law of Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh and holds Canadian citizenship. He previously served as Assistant to the Prime Minister for Communications and Information.

“Al-Shaibani met representatives of Israel’s Mossad in the UAE capital in early February, in the presence of Emirati, and asked the US to support the Dbeibeh government to stay in power,” the source said. He also asked for a postponement of the presidential election, citing a lack of suitable conditions, “in exchange for normalizing relations with Tel Aviv and coordinating on some regional issues,” the source confirmed.

Sofian Salem Al-Shaibani, Dbeibeh’s son-in-law and Libya’s ambassador to Abu Dhabi – UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Debebe also sent his labor minister to Jerusalem and Ramallah on 25 February “in order to bring Palestinian laborers to Libya”, as announced by Debebe’s government. The Dbeibeh government said in a statement: “Labour Minister Ali al-Abed al-Ridha visited the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem after his meeting with the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah to take commemorative photos to kick off the mobilization of 10,000 people. The deal that the Palestinians brought to Libya.” .

Labor Minister Ali al-Abed al-Ridha, in Ramallah
Labor Minister Ali al-Abed al-Ridha, in Jerusalem

On the other hand, Mohammad Raad, member of the House of Representatives and chairman of the Federation of Industry, Commerce and Agriculture, visited the State of Palestine accompanied by several Libyan businessmen. The reason for the visit was to “activate the memorandum of understanding signed by the two countries”, according to the Ministry of Economy and Trade of the Interim National Unity Government announced on 14 February.

Al-Raedh, from Dbeibeh’s hometown of Misrata, is considered a close ally of the prime minister and is known for supporting the government and its decisions. “He visited Jerusalem in coordination with the Israeli authorities and is believed to have delivered a message from al-Dbeibeh to Tel Aviv.”

Muhammad Al-Raedh, member of the Ramallah House of Representatives.
Muhammad Al-Raedh, member of the Ramallah House of Representatives.

Recent visits to Jerusalem and Ramallah have drawn ire in Libyan circles due to the timing and ambiguity surrounding them. Libyan law prohibits Libyan passport holders from traveling to Palestine and Israel.

The State Council in Tripoli also condemned the visits of Labor Minister Ali al-Abed al-Ridha and Muhammad Al-Raedh, member of the House of Representatives and chairman of the Confederation of Workers and Peasants, to the West Bank of occupied Palestine.

“The State Department expressed concern that these visits would test the waters for the Libyan people and prepare for additional stages of communication with the Israeli occupier,” the committee said in a statement on Monday.
At the end of the statement, the council called on “all political institutions and components of society to take a firm stand against these actions”, describing them as “shameful”.

Israel’s “Jerusalem Post” website reported on January 12 that Mossad head David Barnia met with Libyan Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh in Jordan to discuss normalization.

In its detailed report, the website mentioned that Bania met with the Libyan prime minister to discuss normalization, “but the ongoing chaos in Libya may make this difficult.”

In turn, Abdel Hamid Dbeibeh denied news of meetings with Israeli government or Mossad officials, emphasizing that “this did not happen and will not happen in the future”. “My position on Palestine is firm and clear,” Debebe confirmed.


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