Turkey keeps economic ties with Arab League despite condemnation

Turkey keeps economic ties with Arab League despite condemnation

Sevil Erkuş - ANKARA
Turkey keeps economic ties with Arab League despite condemnation

AP photo

As an indication Turkey categorizes ties with the Arab League, Ankara has continued its economic relations with the organization, despite the political strain caused by a recent condemnation of the league and its secretary general, Egyptian Nabil al-Arabi, in particular. 

Officials from the Arab League will hold a technical cooperation meeting on intellectual property rights with the Turkish Patent Institute Headquarters in Ankara on Aug. 11, as a preliminary meeting for the upcoming ministerial economic forum held in Turkey in 2017.

The meeting comes just one week after a harsh condemnation of the Arab League by the Turkish Foreign Ministry over the organization’s criticisms on Turkey’s operations against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

On Aug. 4, the Arab League condemned Turkey’s actions and called on Ankara to recognize the sovereignty of Iraq.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry’s condemnation particularly targeted the league’s secretary general. The statement by al-Arabi was not discussed among the member countries and reflected the views of the secretary general, the ministry said Aug. 5.

Turkey and the Arab League have not held a political forum since 2012 due to political strain between Ankara and Cairo, but economic relations have continued to run their course.

Egypt’s relations with Turkey have been strained since a military coup which overthrew former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, a close ally of Morsi, condemned the coup and Egypt expelled Turkey’s ambassador. 

Ankara also declared the Egyptian ambassador, who had already left the country, persona non grata and downgraded their diplomatic ties to the levels of charge d’affaires.