France says Turkey “hostile” to a French IRINI Operation vessel, Ankara says Paris helped Haftar escalate Libya conflict

Turkish President Erdogan and French President Macron. [Photo: DW]
France accused Turkey’s Navy Force on Wednesday of acting in a “hostile and aggressive” manner towards its NATO allies to prevent them from enforcing a United Nations arms embargo on Libya.

In a strongly-worded statement, France’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Agnes von der Muhll claimed violations of the embargo, notably by Turkey,  were the main obstacles to achieving peace and stability in Libya.

Meanwhile, Turkey on Tuesday said France deepens the conflict in Libya by supporting renegade Gen. Khalifa Haftar against the country’s internationally recognized government.

Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said French support encouraged Haftar to insist on military means and further added to the pain and grievances of war-weary Libyans.

Responding to a recent statement by France criticizing Turkey’s presence in Libya, Aksoy reiterated that Ankara had provided support for the government upon Tripoli’s request, whereas France stood with “putschist” Haftar despite UN and NATO resolutions.

Adding that the Turkish presence in Libya was legally-based, he said the French policy in the war-stricken country was not acceptable from a member of the NATO alliance.

Aksoy said France was acting as an agent of other countries in the region, and added that it has ill intentions for Libya, which was illustrated in its comments Monday.

Turkey will continue supporting efforts under the auspices of the UN to ensure lasting peace and stability in Libya, the statement concluded.

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