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French Presidency Slams Turkey’s 'Unacceptable' Conduct in Libya

French Presidency Slams Turkey’s 'Unacceptable' Conduct in Libya

Sunday, 14 June, 2020 - 15:45
French President Emmanuel Macron. EPA file photo

France Sunday slammed Turkey's "aggressive" intervention in Libya as unacceptable, accusing it of violating a UN arms embargo and sending half a dozen ships to the war-torn country's coast.

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.

French President Emmanuel Macron has already held talks on the issue this week with his US counterpart, Donald Trump, and "exchanges will take place in the weeks to come on this subject with NATO partners," AFP quoted the official as saying.

The comments came after a Turkish warship Wednesday prevented a new EU naval mission enforcing the Libya arms embargo from checking a suspect freighter off the Libyan coast.

Turkey has sent Syrian fighters, military advisors and drones in support of the Government of National Accord (GNA) against Libyan National Army (LNA) leader Khalifa Haftar.

Russia and Turkey have postponed ministerial-level talks which were expected to focus on Libya and Syria.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov decided to put off the talks during a phone call on Sunday, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said.

"The two countries deputy ministers will continue contacts and talks in the period ahead. Minister-level talks will be held at a later date," the ministry said in a statement.

Lavrov and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu had been set to visit Istanbul for the discussions.

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