The UN Security Council must remind the United Arab Emirates (UAE) it is bound by international law against “destructive and malicious policies” in the Middle East and North Africa, Turkey told the international body.
Turkey’s ambassador to UN Feridun Sinirlioglu accused the UAE on Wednesday of embarking on a campaign to stifle democratic movements in the region, citing Abu Dabi’s “excessive ambition” to dominate the wider region “resulted in nothing but human suffering.”
The UAE is a part of a Saudi Arabian-led coalition that launched a devastating air campaign to roll back Houthi territorial gains in 2015, further escalating the crisis in Yemen.
Tens of thousands of Yemenis, including civilians, are believed to have been killed in the conflict that has led to the world’s worst humanitarian crisis as millions remain at risk of starvation.
“UAE’s actions amounted to war crimes, causing mass civilian casualties and systematic destruction of civilian infrastructure through air strikes,” Sinirlioglu said in a letter to the Council and Secretary General Antonio Guterres.
Turning to Libya, which has been torn by civil war since the ouster of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Sinirlioglu said Abu Dabi is supporting renegade commander Khalifa Haftar and wants to oust the legitimate UN-recognized Government of National Accord.
The government was founded in 2015 under a UN-led agreement, but efforts for a long-term political settlement failed due to a military offensive by Haftar’s forces.
“The same military playbook used in Yemen was also applied here, by bombing civilians and civilian infrastructure and cooperating with extremist, radical groups,” said the Turkish envoy.
He said the UN also recorded systematic violations of an arms embargo by the UAE and deployment of mercenaries from Syria, Sudan, Chad and other nations to Libya.
Abu Dabi also supports the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria in its offensive against democracy, civil movements and civilians, said Sinirlioglu, adding the UAE is offering financial and logistical support to the PKK terror group to carry out attacks in Turkey.
“The UAE’s efforts to undermine the UN’s efforts and credibility continue unabated,” he added.
He said the UAE failed to create an “axis of unstable and fragile states that it can easily manipulate in the region,” which led to an understandable “frustration” of the UAE.
The UAE “must respect the independence, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of other states and it must stop instigating instability in the region and beyond,” Sinirlioglu added.
*Betul Yuruk in New York contributed to the story
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