The United Arab Emirates has stopped issuing new visas to citizens of 13 mostly Muslim-majority countries, including Libya, according to a document issued by Abu Dhabi seen by Reuters.
The document said applications for new employment and visit visas had been suspended for nationals – those outside the UAE – of 13 countries that also included Syria and Yemen until further notice.
The ban also applies to citizens of Algeria, Kenya, Iraq, Lebanon, Tunisia, Turkey, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Somalia.
The UAE ban on Libyans comes as it continues to support warlord Khalifa Haftar against the legitimate Government of National Accord in Libya with weapons, military equipment and other means.
Russian media outlets unveiled earlier this month details about transports of heavy anti-aircraft system, Serbian LRSVM Morava system, from the UAE to warlord Khalifa Haftar in Libya.
Sputnik has reported a Russian TV Channel as saying that its sources that the UAE has these modern Serbian anti-aircraft systems and it has transported them to Haftar’s militias in Libya.
Russian media also pointed out that the Serbian LRSVM Morava anti-aircraft systems had been seen in military maneuvers done by the so-called Tariq bin Ziyad Brigade of warlord Haftar’s militias.
The UAE has been providing Haftar with military support for years since he first started his coup on legitimacy back in 2014 and up until his last bloody offensive on Tripoli that started in April 2019 and ended in June 2020, leaving behind destruction and hundreds of deaths as well as thousands of injured and displaced people.
The US has also moved to take a stance against the UAE arms supply to Haftar, as a group of senators pressed the State Department to take action to curb widespread violations of a United Nations arms embargo on Libya and ensure that US-manufactured weaponry and equipment, especially sold to the UAE, are not used in Libya’s prolonged conflict.
US senators said they were “particularly concerned” about the UAE’s support of Haftar, citing Emirati flights to areas under his control and alleged arrangements to supply more than 1000 mercenaries from Sudan.
The senators also called on the State Department to verify that no US-manufactured aircraft or equipment had been transferred to Libya or been used to transport weapons, and asked it to “determine if the UAE’s violations of the arms embargo precludes them from future arms sales pursuant to the Arms Export Control Act [AECT].”