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Macron Slams Turkey's 'Criminal' Role in Libya

Macron Slams Turkey's 'Criminal' Role in Libya

Tuesday, 30 June, 2020 - 05:00
French President Emmanuel Macron. (Reuters)
Asharq Al-Awsat

French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday accused Turkey of massively importing extremists into Libya, labeling Ankara’s intervention “criminal”.

Ties between NATO allies France and Turkey have soured in recent weeks over Libya, northern Syria and drilling in the eastern Mediterranean.

Turkey has intervened decisively in recent weeks in Libya, providing air support, weapons and allied fighters from Syria to help the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) repel a year-long assault by the Libyan National Army (LNA).

“I think it’s a historic and criminal responsibility for a country which claims to be a NATO member,” Macron said.

He said Turkey was “massively importing” extremists from Syria.

In recent weeks, French officials have repeatedly said that Turkey’s intervention was encouraging Russia to gain a greater foothold in Libya.

Libya’s National Oil Corporation said on Friday Russian mercenaries had entered the Sharara oilfield. A United Nations report in May said Russian private military contractor Wagner Group had up to 1,200 people deployed in Libya.

Macron spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday, but stopped short of denouncing Moscow as he has with Ankara. He said the two leaders agreed to work towards a common goal of a ceasefire.

On Monday, Macron said Putin had told him that private contractors did not represent Russia.

“I told him of my very clear condemnation of the actions which are carried out by the Wagner force... he plays on this ambivalence.”

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