Turkish Foreign Ministry on Tuesday strongly criticized the "threat to the Arab world" remarks of Emirati foreign minister on Turkey's operation in Syria.
In a written statement, Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said the remarks of United Arab Emirates' Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan “are impossible to understand and do not show good intention”.
Aksoy said ongoing Operation Olive Branch in northwestern Syria was being conducted to eliminate terror threats against Turkey.
The spokesman added Turkey’s support for Syria’s political unity and preservation of its territorial integrity, efforts to ensure lasting peace and stability in Syria and the responsibility the country took for 3.5 million Syrian refugees on its soil were “obvious” to all.
He said Turkey maintains exceptional historical and humane ties with the Arab world; the country cares about peace, security and stability in Arab countries; Turkey also gives its strong support to the common cause of the Islamic world, especially Jerusalem.
And yet, the U.A.E. authorities were making defamatory statements about Turkey's history and its relations with the Arab world, Aksoy said.
He highlighted the importance of dealing with regional problems through solidarity rather than incitement, especially since the region was going through a critical period.
Turkey launched the operation on Jan. 20 to clear terrorist groups from Afrin in northwestern Syria amid growing threats posed from the region.
On Sunday, Turkish-backed troops liberated the town of Afrin, which had been a major hideout for the YPG/PKK since 2012.
According to the Turkish General Staff, Operation Olive Branch has aimed to establish security and stability along Turkey's borders and the region as well as protect Syrians from the cruelty and oppression of terrorists.
It is being carried out under the framework of Turkey’s rights based on international law, UN Security Council resolutions, its self-defense rights under the UN Charter and respect for Syria's territorial integrity, the army said.
Reporting by Dildar Baykan:Writing by Meryem Goktas
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