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Turkey accused the United Arab Emirates of bringing chaos to the Middle East through its interventions in Libya and Yemen.

Mevlut CAVUSOGLU the Turkey Foreign Minister was responding on May 12, 2020 to criticism of Turkey’s role in the Libyan conflict. This came shortly after the foreign ministry in Ankara dismissed a declaration by Cyprus, Egypt, France, Greece, and the UAE that described Turkish military activity in the eastern Mediterranean Sea and Libya as seeking “regional chaos and instability”.

Turkey’s foreign ministry condemned the statement on Tuesday, accusing France of “attempting to be the patron of this axis of malice”.

CAVUSOGLU told Akit TV on Tuesday that the UAE, Egypt and other countries were “trying to destabilize the whole region”. “If you are asking who is destabilizing this region, who is bringing chaos, then we would say Abu Dhabi without any hesitation”. “It is a reality that they are the force that unsettled Libya and destroyed Yemen”.

Turkey deployed military personnel to Libya, and it has helped send Syrian fighters to support the internationally recognized government in Tripoli at the beginning of 2020, while the five countries party to the declaration has supported the forces of commander Khalifa HAFTAR in the general’s attempt to capture the Libyan capital and unseat the GNA government.

In April 2020 the UAE called on all parties to commit to an UN-supervised political process to end the war in Libya, despite the fact that the UN has heavily criticized the Gulf country for supplying aircraft and military vehicles to HAFTAR.

On Monday night, four GNA fighters were killed in a UAE drone strike that hit the coastal city of Misrata, in the southeast of Tripoli. The strike came after GNA aircraft had targeted the LNA-controlled al-Watiya airbase, one of HAFTAR’s last remaining strongholds in western Libya, which GNA forces have been trying to retake.

The relations between Turkey and the UAE have been strained in recent years since when the Gulf countries and Egypt placed an embargo on Qatar.

The UAE often presents itself as a defensive line against political forms of Islam and views ERDOGAN’s Islamist-rooted AK Party as a supporter of groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood.

On Tuesday, Josep BORRELL European Union foreign policy chief issued a statement calling for Libya’s warring factions to lay down their arms and urging “all parties having committed to a truce and a negotiated ceasefire to follow up on these commitments”.

Mevlut CAVUSOGLU accused the UAE of supporting al-SHABAB fighters in Somalia, where Turkey has a military base and is training Somali troops.

Abu Dhabi was also a leading power in an alliance that intervened in Yemen five years ago against the Houthi group.

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