Turkey responding to U.A.E. with new methods, columnist says

Turkey has started employing new methods to respond the United Arab Emirates’ hostile foreign policy in the Middle East, and Ankara’s new moves in Libya should be seen as one of the outcomes of this new approach, columnist Mehmet Acet said in Yeni Şafak daily. 

The first sign of Turkey’s new policy against the Emirates was Ankara’s move to add Palestinian politician Mohammed Dahlan to its “red list” of most-wanted terrorism suspects in December, Acet said on Saturday, citing unnamed sources.

Ankara accuses Dahlan, who lives in exile in the United Arab Emirates, of providing financial support to the Gülen movement for a failed coup attempt in 2016, and playing a role in the murder of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018 in Saudi Arabia’s Istanbul consulate. 

“On the other hand, if you want to interpret the latest developments in Libya from one perspective as Turkey squaring accounts with the United Arab Emirates, you can find a strong support for your opinion,” Acet said. 

The conflict between the U.N-recognised government in Tripoli and General Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) has made Libya a battleground for the proxy war between Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.

Turkey signed a deal with the Government of National Accord (GNA) in November to provide enhanced military support to the Tripoli government to fend off the assault of Haftar’s forces backed by Abu Dhabi. 

“From that perspective, it becomes possible to see the initiatives Turkey has developed for Libya as an ‘outcome’ of the decision to respond to the United Arab Emirates with new methods,” Acet said. 

The columnist accused the Emirates of following Turkey’s foreign policy like a shadow and “hitting below the belt.”

Acet said that the Emirati foreign minister’s visit to Algeria last week, a day after an official visit of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to the north African country, was a proof of Abu Dhabi’s methods.