UAE official tells Turkey to stop meddling in Arab affairs over Libya

UAE's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash attends an extraordinary meeting for the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Foreign Ministers level in Jeddah on July 17, 2019. (File/AFP)
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Updated 02 August 2020

UAE official tells Turkey to stop meddling in Arab affairs over Libya

  • Turkish media had reported the Turkish minister making remarks critical of the UAE’s actions over Libya

ABU DHABI: A UAE 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-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) in western Libya, while the forces of eastern-based strongman Khalifa Haftar are supported by the UAE, 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 Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said in an interview.
“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 Defense Ministry’s website.

BACKGROUND

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

Tensions have been steadily rising in the Libyan conflict in recent weeks, with Egypt threatening it would launch a military intervention if GNA forces try to capture their next target — the coastal city of Sirte, currently held by Haftar’s troops.
Recently, the US military said that Russia appeared to be sending more military equipment to its mercenaries in Libya, including Sirte, in breach of an arms embargo.
Its Africa Command said there was mounting evidence from satellite pictures of Moscow’s military cargo planes, including IL-6s, bringing supplies to fighters from the Russian Wagner Group.
Both sides have been mobilizing forces around Sirte where any major new escalation could risk drawing major regional powers further into Libya’s messy conflict.
Libya has been torn by violence since the 2011 ouster of long-time dictator Muammar Qaddafi in a NATO-backed uprising, and the conflict has since drawn in multiple foreign powers.


Israel warplanes strike Gaza following rocket fire

Updated 39 min 24 sec ago

Israel warplanes strike Gaza following rocket fire

  • Fighter jets and other aircraft struck a “weapons manufacturing site and underground infrastructures”
  • Hamas reported no casualties from the Israeli strikes on the Nuseirat refugee camp and the southern city of Khan Yunis

JERUSALEM: Israeli warplanes struck suspected Hamas military targets in the Gaza Strip before dawn on Friday following rocket fire from the blockaded Palestinian territory.
Fighter jets and other aircraft struck a “weapons manufacturing site and underground infrastructures” operated by Islamist group Hamas, which has controlled the territory since 2007, the Israeli army said.
Hamas reported no casualties from the Israeli strikes on the Nuseirat refugee camp and the southern city of Khan Yunis.
Two rockets had been launched at Israel late Thursday, without causing any casualties or damage.
One was intercepted by Israeli air defenses, while the other hit open ground, the army said.
The last reported rocket attack from Gaza was on Tuesday night.
It came after the army announced it had found a new tunnel that crosses “dozens of meters (yards) into Israel” from Gaza.
The next day the army said the tunnel belonged to Hamas.
Authorities have discovered some 20 tunnels originating in Gaza since 2014, army spokesman Jonathan Conricus said this week.
Israel has fought three wars with Hamas since the Islamists ousted loyalists of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas from the territory in 2007 and there have been numerous smaller flare-ups.
An informal truce brokered by Egypt and the United Nations, with the financial support of gas-rich Qatar, has been in force since late 2018.
It has been broken several times but has been restored on each occasion.