UAE tells Turkey to keep out of Arab affairs

AFP , Saturday 1 Aug 2020

Anwar Gargash
FILE PHOTO: UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash is seen during preparatory meeting for the GCC, Arab and Islamic summits in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, May 29, 2019. REUTERS

A United Arab Emirates official on Saturday urged Turkey to stop interfering in Arab affairs, mockingly referring to the Ottoman empire which collapsed a century ago.

The backlash came after Turkey condemned what it termed "malicious" actions by the UAE in Libya, where the two countries support opposing sides in its grinding conflict.

Anwar Gargash, minister of state for foreign affairs, called on Turkey "to stop intervening in Arab affairs".

Turkey can no longer behave like "the Sublime Porte and use the language of colonialism", he said, referring to the government of the Ottoman empire which ruled the Arab world for centuries.

"The Sublime Porte and colonialist illusions belong to the archives of history... and relations between states are not conducted with threats," Gargash wrote.

Turkey backs the UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) in western Libya, while the forces of eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA) lead by commander Khalifa Haftar are supported by the UAE, as well as Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Russia.

"Abu Dhabi does what it does in Libya, does what it does in Syria. All of it is being recorded. At the right place and time, the accounts will be settled," Turkey's Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said in an interview with Al-Jazeera television.

"It is necessary to ask Abu Dhabi, where this hostility, where these intentions, where this jealousy comes from," he said, quoted Friday on the Turkish defence ministry's website.

Libya has been torn by violence since the 2011 ouster of long-time dictator Moamer Kadhafi in a NATO-backed uprising, and the conflict has since drawn in multiple foreign powers.

*This story was edited by Ahram Online

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