Several Arab states condemn Russia's actions in Ukraine

Moscow urged to withdraw troops from neighbouring country

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Several Arab states have condemned Russia’s military incursion into Ukraine and called on President Vladmir Putin to withdraw his troops and return to dialogue.

Moscow began a large-scale attack on Ukraine on Thursday, with Russian troops entering the country from the north, east and south, accompanied by air strikes and shelling.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said at least 137 Ukrainian soldiers were killed on the first day.

The international community has voiced concerns the violence could escalate and major powers have imposed a raft of sanctions in the hope Moscow will halt its offensive.

Lebanon said it stood against Moscow's military operations.

“Lebanon condemns the invasion of Ukrainian territory and calls on Russia to halt its military operation immediately and withdraw its forces… and return to dialogue and negotiations as a better means of finding a solution,” a statement by the foreign ministry said.

Libya's Foreign Minister Najla El Mangoush called the attack a violation of international law.

"We strongly condemn what is happening in the Republic of Ukraine by Russia's military operation, which is a violation of international law," she said on Twitter.

"We renew our call for calm and retreat," Ms El Mangoush said.

Libya's foreign ministry urged Libyans in Ukraine to stay at home and remain alert as a series of explosions hit different parts of the country.

"The Libyan community residing in Ukraine must stay home or in other safe places, and avoid travel unless it is necessary," the ministry said.

Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim called on all parties to exercise restraint and solve the crisis, the state news agency said.

Sheikh Tamim had a phone call on Thursday with the Ukrainian president who briefed him on the latest developments.

Iraq urged Ukrainian universities to grant Iraqi students in the country emergency leave “in case the security situation worsens”, a statement by the foreign ministry said.

More than 5,000 Iraqis reside in Ukraine, including 450 students, the ministry's spokesman, Ahmed Al Sahaf, told The National.

"We are in contact with our embassy in Kyiv to ensure the safety of our citizens and the Iraqi community in Ukraine," he said.

Iraq's Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein stressed "the importance of taking precautionary and safety measures towards the community there as the situation intensifies on the ground".

Syria is, so far, the only Arab country to voice support for the actions taken by Russia, an ally of President Bashar Al Assad's regime.

"Syria supports President Vladimir Putin's decision to recognise the republics of Luhansk and Donetsk," the state TV quoted Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad as saying during an event in Moscow.

"What the West is doing against Russia is similar to what it did against Syria during the terrorist war," Mr Mekdad said.

Updated: February 26, 2022, 11:21 AM