Turkey slams Bahrain for backing UAE in war of words over regional policies

Turkey hit back at Bahrain for criticising its policies in the region in an ongoing war of words between the NATO member and the United Arab Emirates.

The Turkish government said Bahrain was wrong to step in to support the UAE and censure Turkey after Defence Minister Hulusi Akar accused Abu Dhabi of committing “malicious acts” in Libya and Syria in a statement last week. The UAE would be held accountable “at the right place and right time”, he said.

"It is an unfortunate and futile effort to characterise the destabilising activities carried out by the Abu Dhabi administration, which violate universal rules and moral values in regions such as Syria, Libya, Yemen and the Horn of Africa, as constructive," Anadolu cited the Turkish Defence Ministry as saying in a report on Monday.

Last week’s statement by Akar had sparked a swift rebuke from the UAE. Relations are not managed with threats and intrusions, Foreign Minister Anwar Gargash said at the weekend. Bahrain entered the verbal spat on Sunday, saying the UAE was known for its constructive role internationally and Akar’s comments were a hostile and unacceptable provocation.

Turkey is trading verbal blows with the UAE, Bahrain and other regional powers amid major differences in policy over the future of war-torn Libya and rights to energy resources in the Mediterranean. Turkey supports the Government of National Accord in Libya’s capital Tripoli while the UAE and others back the opposition army of General Khalifa Haftar.