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France Seeks NATO Talks over Turkey’s ‘Unacceptable’ Role in Libya

France Seeks NATO Talks over Turkey’s ‘Unacceptable’ Role in Libya

Monday, 15 June, 2020 - 18:00
Libyan protesters are seen behind the national flag during a rally in May 2014 in Benghazi, eastern Libya. (Getty Images) 

France wants talks with NATO allies to discuss Turkey’s increasingly “aggressive” and “unacceptable” role in Libya, a French presidential official said on Monday, underscoring increased tensions between Ankara and Paris.

The comments came after Turkey, which backs the Government of National Accord in Tripoli, cemented a foothold in the country helping repel an assault on the capital by the Libyan National Army (LNA) of commander Khalifa Haftar.

Speaking to Reuters on Monday, a French presidential official accused NATO ally Turkey of violating a UN arms embargo and raising its naval presence off the coast of Libya.

“These interferences are becoming very problematic and despite our efforts, the situation is getting bogged down. This increasingly aggressive posture is not acceptable,” the official said.

“Turkey is supposed to be a NATO partner so this cannot continue.”

When asked what Paris had in mind, the official said there would be talks in the coming days with Turkey and other NATO partners to discuss the situation.

NATO defense ministers hold talks later this week.

Ties between Turkey and France are already strained on a number of issues ranging from Syria to oil exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean.

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