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Turkey slams UAE, Egypt over 'hypocrisy' in Libya conflict

Turkey's statement was issues on Monday [Getty]

Date of publication: 12 May, 2020

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The UAE and Egypt have been accused of hypocrisy by Turkey, after criticising Ankara's 'illegal' activities in Libya.
Turkey has slammed at least five "hypocritical" countries for criticising Ankara's role in the eastern Mediterranean and Libya war, a statement on Monday said.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hamis Aksoy said a joint statement issued by Egypt, Greece, Turkey, France and the UAE that described Ankara's activities in the region as illegal, was "a typical example of hypocrisy".

"The joint declaration... is a case in point of the hypocrisy of a group of countries who are seeking regional chaos and instability through the policies they pursue and seeing no harm in sacrificing the democratic aspirations of the peoples to the callous aggression of putchist dictators, and which have fallen into a delirium, as their agendas are being disrupted by Turkey," Aksoy said in a statement on Monday.

"The distortion of the steps taken by Turkey in order to protect its legitimate interests based on international law, through unfair and unlawful pretexts, is unacceptable under any circumstances," Aksoy stressed.

The Turkish statement took aim at Egypt, which it said had failed to protect the rights of its own people, as well as the UAE which has no concern with the Eastern Mediterranean but has united itself with other countries out of sheer "animosity towards Turkey".

Turkey's "anti-terror operations" in northern Syria also led France to attempt "to be the patron of this axis of malice", Aksoy added, according to the Turkish state Anadolu Agency.

"We call on all these countries to act with common sense, in accordance with international law and practices. Peace and stability in our region can only be achieved through genuine and realistic dialogue and cooperation rather than attempting to create axis of malice," Aksoy added.

The damning statement was a response to a statement from the foreign ministers of the five countries, which discussed recent developments in the eastern Mediterranean and Libya, including Turkey's alleged drilling in Cyprus' territorial waters for gas.

The officials also slammed Turkey’s alleged "systematic exploitation" of migrants, which have in recent months has seen refugees allowed by Anakra to attempt to cross into Europe amid an ongoing dispute between Turkey and the EU.

The statement was also critical of Turkey’s military interference in Libya, where it backs the internationally-recognised government. 

The ministers urged Ankara to "fully respect the United Nations arms embargo, and to stop the influx of foreign fighters from Syria to Libya", the UAE’s state-owned The National reported.

"These developments constituted a threat to the stability of Libya's neighbours in Africa as well as in Europe."

Turkey and the UAE sit on opposite sides of the Libya conflict, with Ankara having assisted the UN-backed Government of National Accord's military effort against Haftar, who is propped by Abu Dhabi and Egypt.

Last month, an official from Libya's UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) warned the UAE was plotting to divide Libya.

In a post shared via his official Facebook page, Mohammed Amari, Member of the Presidential Council of the GNA said his government was "closely watching all these developments," Arabi21 reported. 

Read also: UAE supplying Haftar with Israeli air defence system to counter Turkish drones in Libya

Amari reiterated the GNA's persistence in fighting against loyalist forces of rogue military general, Khalifa Haftar, and said the GNA would accept those who abandoned the "coup" against Libya's leadership. 

The officials comments followed GNA's allegations that Haftar is seeking to stage a coup in Libya, after the warlord claimed to have a "mandate" from the people to govern the country.

Haftar's self-proclaimed Libyan National Army control swathes of eastern Libya, after the rebel commander launched an offensive to seize Tripoli in 2019.

The offensive killed hundreds of people and displaced nearly 200,000 residents.

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