United Arab Emirates demands Turkey stop its interference in Arab affairs

The Emirate's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs denounced the Eurasian nation as being driven by "colonial illusions"
The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates, Anwar Gargash

AFP/KARIM SAHIB  -   The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates, Anwar Gargash

Anwar Gargash, the foreign minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), on Saturday singled out Turkey for acting on "colonial illusions" and demanded that it stop its "interference" in Arab affairs after the ongoing dispute in the Libyan civil war, where the Turkish country participates in favour of the faction of the Government of National Accord (GNA) of Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj by sending paid mercenaries from Syria allegedly linked to groups linked in the past to jihadist organisations such as Daesh and Al-Qaeda. 

The Emirates positioned itself in the war conflict of the North African country in favour of the opposite side, the one represented by the Libyan National Army (LNA) of Marshal Khalifa Haftar, which acts in alliance with the other eastern Executive of Tobruk. This side is also supported by powers such as Russia, France, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. On the other hand, the GNA, internationally recognized by the United Nations (UN) since 2016, is supported by the financial support of Qatar, in addition to Turkish military aid. Precisely, the Gulf monarchy lives installed in the controversy for being linked to the Muslim Brothers, a radical entity considered terrorist by several Western countries and that is accused of promoting instability in different countries of the region.

"Relations are not handled with threats and intimidation, and there is no room for colonial illusions at this time; and it is better that Turkey stops its interference in Arab affairs," Gargash said in his official Twitter account. In this case, he alludes to Turkey's interference in Libya and also in the civil war in Syria, where the Ottoman nation positioned itself with its army around Idlib, the last rebel stronghold of the insurgents opposed to the regime of Bachar al-Asad, which is supported by Vladimir Putin's Russia. 

This week, Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar accused the UAE of supporting terrorist groups opposed to Turkey and promised to hold it accountable for its actions in Syria and Libya when the time is right. Akar launched this attack on the UAE through the Qatari media.

Anwar Gargash called these statements "provocative" and further referred to them as "diplomatic failure", insisting that the "Sublime Door" (the name given to the central authority of the Ottoman Empire) and "the Supreme State and its signatories (decrees of the time)" belong "to the historical archive". The Emirati Minister of State for Foreign Affairs ended up urging Turkey to abandon its "colonial delusions".

The Turkish regime commanded by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has not stopped its intervention in Arab affairs and has dedicated itself to continue sending mercenaries to Syria, Libya and even Iraq to feed the chaos in those countries and to reinforce its geostrategic position in the Mediterranean and the Middle East, with the hidden objective also of benefiting from the exploitation of certain economic zones valuable for their gas and oil, as several analysts have pointed out. This may show certain colonial ambitions of the Ankara regime.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, presidente de Turquía
PHOTO/Turkish Presidency Press Service via AP - Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of Turkey

In this way, the Turkish state continues to defy the international community and send more weapons and mercenaries from Syrian territory to the conflict scenarios in Libya to support Sarraj's GNA, with which it sealed an agreement at the end of last year to guarantee military support and to distribute economic zones in the Mediterranean arc, which constitutes an obstacle to international efforts to calm the situation and negotiate a way out. 

The LNA in Khalifa Haftar had the situation of the Libyan war under control and in April 2019 launched an offensive to conquer Tripoli, the last important bastion that the LNA retained, but the Turkish intervention caused forces loyal to Sarraj to gain ground and recover important enclaves such as Sorman, Sabratha and Al-Watiya airbase. Even announcing the attempt to take the port city of Sirte, a location that is considered a red line by neighboring Egypt, which, in the words of its president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, warned with a possible military intervention against the side of the GNA and Turkey if that area was attacked after trying a mediation process.

The United Arab Emirates praised the previous efforts of Cairo to stop the escalation of tension in order to seek a peaceful solution to the Libyan crisis. "We continue our efforts with Cairo to seek an immediate ceasefire and activate the political track," Anwar Gargash said on Twitter.