Turkey on Friday rejected a statements made by the Arab League’s Council of Foreign Ministers the previous day which had called for Turkey to stop its “provocations in North Africa and the Middle East”.
The Arab foreign ministers charged that Ankara’s recent military interventions in Iraq, Libya, and Syria “threatened” the security of the wider region.
The Arab officials condemned “Turkish interventions in Libya” as well as “Turkey’s attack on Syrian territory”, arguing they are in “clear violation” of the “United Nations Convention principles and Security Council resolutions.”
The officials consequently called on Turkey to bring an end to these interventions and passed resolutions to that effect.
Ankara promptly responded with a government press release in which it “totally” rejected “the unfounded resolutions adopted against Turkey”.
“It is well known that some Arab League members’ pursuing stereotypical allegations against Turkey for disguising their ambitions and agendas has no resonance on the friendly and brother Arab peoples,” the statement added. “Insisting on this stance from which no one benefits, is also not compatible with the recent positive steps taken in the region.”
“As a matter of fact, it is also being seen that some Arab League members have objected or made reservations on these resolutions of well-known deliberate nature.”
Turkey also claimed that its interventions, far from being provocations that threaten regional stability, takes a “resolute and principled approach” to its foreign policy and “comes first among the countries that exert utmost effort to preserve sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of Arab countries.”
“Rendering Turkey’s fight against threats towards its national security and interests within the framework of international law into a subject matter for criticism in Arab League resolutions in unacceptable and does not make any sense either,” the statement said. “In this respect, we call upon Arab League to break free from such futile approaches and to focus on the peace, prosperity and well-being of the Arab peoples.”
In recent years Turkey has launched several cross-border military operations. In northern Iraq it frequently targets the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in increasingly larger air and ground operations. In Syria, it invaded two regions controlled by the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), an ally of the United States in the war against Islamic State (ISIS), in 2018 and 2019 respectively. It also clashed with Syrian government forces in the northwestern province of Idlib in early 2020. And in Libya, it decisively intervened in that country’s civil war back in 2019, helping its ally, the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli break a siege and repel eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA) forces commanded by General Khalifa Haftar.