Turkey says UAE spreading chaos in Middle East

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu speaks during a news conference in Tirana, Albania, February 12, 2020.

ISTANBUL: On Tuesday, Turkey blamed that the United Arab Emirates is on its way straight to spreading chaos to the Middle East via its interventions in Libya and Yemen, claims that are going to madden further tensions between the regional rivals.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told on Tuesday that the UAE, Egypt and other countries were “trying to destabilise the complete territory”. He furthermore reacted to criticism of Turkey’s role in the Libyan conflict.

Turkey has deployed armed forces to Tripoli in order to assist the internationally recognised government, also known as the GNA. It has also assisted in sending Syrian fighters to bolster GNA lines.

Meanwhile, United Arab Emirates and Egypt, which back eastern military commander Khalifa Haftar along military, whose self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) has been trying to storm the Libyan capital and unseat the GNA government, issued on Monday a joint statement with Greece, Cyprus and France on Monday condemning “Turkey’s military interference in Libya”.

“UAE along with Egypt and other countries which didn’t mention the name, were trying to destabilise the whole region.” Cavusoglu further told Turkish broadcaster Akit TV, indicating Abu Dhabi for particular criticism.

“We would without any doubt indicate Abu Dubai for destabilising and bringing chaos in this region, if you ask me who’s doing this all.” he said. “It is a fact that they are the force that unsettled Libya and destroyed Yemen.”

Ties between Turkey and the United Arab Emirates have been strained in recent years since Gulf countries including Egypt placed an embargo on Qatar in 2017 over its alleged assist for Islamist militants, which Qatar denies.

The UAE often portrays itself as a bulwark against political forms of Islam, and views Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s AK Party as a supporter of groups like the Muslim Brotherhood which it opposes.

Last month, the United Arab Emirates in Libya, where the UN says it has supplied aircraft and military vehicles to Haftar, called on all parties to commit to a UN-supervised political process to meet the war an ending

On Tuesday, Cavusoglu again blamed the UAE of helping al-Shabab militants in Somalia, where Turkey has a military base and is training Somali troops.

Since 2014, the United Arab Emirates had trained hundreds of Somali armed forces as part of an effort boosted by an African Union military mission to defeat an insurgency until Somalia disbanded the programme in 2018.

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