France on Sunday slammed Turkey’s “aggressive” intervention in the Libya conflict as unacceptable, accusing its fellow NATO member of violating a UN arms embargo and sending half a dozen ships to the war-torn country’s coast, AFP reported.
Turkey, supported by its main regional ally Qatar, backs the UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli in the conflict against the forces of eastern Libya strongman Khalifa Haftar.
France, despite public denials, has long been suspected of favoring Haftar, who has the backing of Egypt, Russia and the United Arab Emirates.
Paris is angered by an “even more aggressive and insistent stance from Turkey, with seven Turkish ships deployed off the Libyan coast and violations of the arms embargo,” a senior presidential official said.
“The Turks are behaving in an unacceptable manner and are exploiting NATO. France cannot just stand by,” added the official, who asked not to be named.
French President Emmanuel Macron has already had talks on the issue this week with US President Donald Trump, and “exchanges will take place in the weeks to come on this subject with NATO partners,” the official said.
The comments came after a Turkish warship on Wednesday prevented a new EU naval mission enforcing the Libya arms embargo from checking a suspect freighter off the Libyan coast.