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Arab League Urges Security Council to Intervene to End Turkish ‘Invasion’ against Syria

Arab League Urges Security Council to Intervene to End Turkish ‘Invasion’ against Syria

Saturday, 12 October, 2019 - 12:30
The Arab League condemned Turkey's incursion in northeastern Syria. (Reuters)

The Arab League urged on Saturday the United Nations Security Council to take measures to force Turkey to halt its military “invasion” in Syria and "immediately" withdraw its forces from the Arab country.

A communique after the emergency meeting of Arab foreign ministers in Cairo also called on the Security Council to suspend military and intelligence support that could help Turkey's offensive.

Arab countries reject Turkey's attempts to impose "demographic changes" in Syria by a so-called "safe zone."

Arab countries should consider taking "diplomatic, economic, investment, cultural measures ... to confront the Turkish aggression,” added the statement, read by League chief Ahmed Aboul Gheit.

Qatar and Somalia expressed reservations about the communique. In contrast to other Arab countries, Qatar has backed Turkey's offensive.

“The Qatari reservation puts Qatar in one trench with the aggressor, and I have no further comment,” Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry told Reuters TV.

In opening remarks at the emergency meeting in Cairo, Saudi State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Adel al-Jubeir said the Kingdom condemns the Turkish incursion and demands an immediate end to the military operations.

Shoukri said Turkey was launching a “new aggression against the Arab countries.”

“The Turkish regime is trying to escape its crises by forging ahead in aggressive policies,” he remarked.

He stressed the need to adhere to Security Council resolutions that call for preserving the territorial integrity of Syria.

Moreover, he warned that the offensive gives ISIS and other terrorist organizations the opportunity to reemerge and regroup.

Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa rejected the “aggression by any party against Arab countries.”

Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil expressed his rejection of the Turkish operation, adding: “Our interest lies in Arab unity that protects our territory.”

Readmitting Syria into the pan-Arab organization should be "the first response from the League to the Turkish aggression."

Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohamed Ali al-Hakim, president of the current Arab League session, also condemned Turkey's offensive. The incursion is a "blatant aggression" against Syria’s sovereignty and integrity.

It "reinforces terrorists' capabilities" to reorganize and undermines world efforts to fight the ISIS group, he warned.

Turkey launched its operation on Tuesday, saying it aims to push back Syrian Kurdish forces, which it considers a threat for their links to a decades-long Kurdish insurgency within its own borders.

Syria's membership in the 22-member Arab League was suspended in 2011 after the Syrian regime’s military crackdown on protesters calling for reforms.

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