Turkey rejects Arab League statement that it is interfering in region
"The continuation of some members of the Arab League to make clichéd accusations against Turkey in order to hide their ambitions and agendas is of no value to the friendly and brotherly Arab peoples," the Turkish foreign ministry said in a statement.
The ministry stressed that such positions did not reflect the "positive steps" taken in the region recently, in an apparent reference to the attempts to mend ties between Turkey and some Arab countries.
The ministry also claimed that Turkey comes first in "making every effort to preserve the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of Arab countries," adding that criticism of Turkey’s struggle against threats to its national security and interests were "unacceptable and meaningless."
During a regular session of Arab foreign ministers on Thursday, the Arab League condemned Turkey’s military presence in a number of countries in the region.
It called on Ankara to withdraw all its forces present in these countries and "stop supporting extremists organisations and militias."
The league also condemned Turkey for "hosting extremist groups" and providing them with a haven, as well as its financing of media platforms the league said incites the use of violence in Arab states.
Ankara has maintained a military presence in war-torn Libya and Syria for years, and frequently targets Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq with airstrikes.
It says it is keeping Kurdish forces – which Ankara designates as terrorist groups – at bay.
Its presence in Libya has also been a serious point of contention with Egypt.