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.


Arab nations send food, medical supplies to disaster-hit Lebanon

Updated 34 min 20 sec ago

Arab nations send food, medical supplies to disaster-hit Lebanon

  • Saudi Arabia at the forefront of an international relief air bridge for Lebanon

DUBAI: Arab nations are rushing to provide humanitarian relief to disaster-hit Lebanon, delivering planeloads of food and medical supplies to aid those affected by the massive explosion that rocked Beirut on Tuesday.

The devastating blast, thought to be caused by a stockpile of ammonium nitrate unsafely stored in a port warehouse, left a trail of damage over much of the capital and killed more than 150 people and injured thousands of others.

A UAE transport plane carrying 40 metric tons of critical medicine and food items, as well as nutritional supplements for children, arrived in the Lebanese capital as part of the assistance being implemented by the Emirates Red Crescent.

“A comprehensive phased humanitarian plan has been put in place in response to the crisis, and during this stage the focus is laid on providing medical supplies in support of the Lebanese health facilities under the current tough circumstances to help them respond to the needs of the large number of victims,” Dr Mohammed Atiq Al-Falahi, the ERC Secretary General, said in a report from state news agency WAM.

Saudi Arabia is at the forefront of an international relief air bridge, with about 200 tons of medical and emergency supplies so far delivered by the three aircraft dispatched to Lebanon.

Egypt has dispatched a second military plane to Lebanon, loaded with large quantities of medical supplies and food.

Two aircraft from Kuwait laden with medical supplies and food have arrived at Beirut’s international airport as part of the ongoing aid efforts to help Lebanon.

“We have just received two Kuwaiti planes carrying emergency aid,” on instructions of the Kuwait leadership, embassy advisor Abdullah Al-Shaheen said, and added that support will continue “in this time of adversity.”