ANKARA (MEMO) – Turkey has condemned a statement by the Arab League saying that Ankara is interfering in regional affairs. The allegation is a blow to recent reconciliation efforts between Turkey and the organization’s members.
The Arab League’s statement was made during a regular session of Arab foreign ministers on Thursday last week, in which they criticized Turkey’s military intervention and presence in countries such as Syria and Libya. They also condemned Ankara for allegedly “hosting extremist groups” and providing them with shelter.
The league called on Turkey to withdraw all of its military forces from the region and to “stop supporting extremist organizations and militias.” Although it was not specified which organizations and militias the statement was referring to, it was likely to be a reference to Ankara’s support for militants in Syria who have waged a bloody campaign against President Bashar al-Assad over the past decade.
The Turkish foreign ministry hit back by saying that, “The continuation of some members of the Arab League to make clichéd accusations against Turkey in order to hide their ambitions and agendas is of no value to the friendly and brotherly Arab peoples.”
The ministry accused the umbrella group of not reflecting the “positive steps” taken in recent months, as seen in reconciliation efforts and talks between Turkey and Arab states such as Egypt and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Last year, the Arab League made a similar statement accusing Turkey of interfering in the region, but four Arab states in particular.
The accusations came as officials from Qatar and Turkey are planning to attend an event in Dubai in the first such move since relations between the three countries broke off in 2017, Bloomberg reports.
Qatar’s Energy Minister Saad Al-Kaabi and Turkey’s Deputy Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Alparslan Bayraktar will attend the Gastech conference at the Dubai World Trade Centre later this month, the report says.
This will be the first high-level visit by a Qatari official to the UAE since the end of the Persian Gulf blockade on Doha in January this year.