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EU Holds Talks with Turkey ‘Compulsively’ Over Libya

EU Holds Talks with Turkey ‘Compulsively’ Over Libya

Tuesday, 7 July, 2020 - 08:15
Government of National Accord fighters preparing in Tripoli to advance towards Sirte on Monday, July 6, 2020 (Reuters)
Ankara- Saeed Abdulrazek

The European Union has called on all Libyan parties to abide by their pledges at the Berlin Conference, in line with the United Nations resolutions.

EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell has stressed the importance of restoring peace in Libya.

In a joint press conference with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Ankara, Borrell pointed out that “currently the situation is far from being ideal” in the EU-Turkish relations.

“It would be good to reach out to my Turkish friends in order to know better about their positions and their future prospects,” he told the press conference on Monday.

“There are many serious issues that require our immediate attention.”

Borrell said he talked with Cavusoglu about Turkey’s role in Libya and the Libyan conflict, and the commitments undertaken by all participants in the Berlin Conference and in the Berlin Process.

“I think all Berlin participants need to support constructively a peaceful settlement of the Libyan conflict, which is the only responsible way to end the Libyan crisis,” he stressed.

Cavusoglu, for his part, said his country hopes and looks forward to cooperating with the EU on Libya, Syria and the Balkans.

He reiterated demands for an apology from France over its depiction of a standoff between ships from the two countries in the Mediterranean Sea that prompted Paris to suspend its involvement in a NATO naval operation.

A French official has recently claimed that the Turkish Navy had harassed one of France's warships taking part in a NATO mission in the Mediterranean.

Already strained ties between NATO allies France and Turkey have worsened following the claim, as the two sides exchanged accusations over the Libya conflict and activities in the Eastern Mediterranean.

“Instead of engaging in anti-Turkish activities and such leanings, France needs to make a sincere confession,” Cavusoglu said.

“Our expectation from France at the moment is for it to apologize, without ifs or buts, for not providing the correct information.”

The FM pointed out that France backs Commander of the Libyan National Army Marshal Khalifa Haftar, adding that there are attempts to undermine Turkey, which has signed an agreement with the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) last year.

It is noteworthy that Turkey and the GNA signed a security and military Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Nov. 27, 2019, that includes bilateral cooperation in the military and security fields.

Meanwhile, Turkey has begun preparing for the deployment of a new air defense system at al-Watiya airbase, northwestern Libya, after the destruction of a system it has earlier established there in an airstrike on Saturday night.

According to a Turkish defense ministry official, bombing the base proves Haftar and his western supporters’ intention to spread chaos in Libya.

Warplanes struck overnight at the airbase that was recently recaptured by GNA forces with help from Turkey. The strikes were carried out by “unknown aircraft.”

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