On Tuesday, June 16, Turkey claimed France was to blame for exaggeration of the Libyan crisis because it had not supported UN regime and NATO measures, but taken the side of Khalifa Haftar’s forces opposing the internationally acknowledged Government of National Accord (GNA).
On Monday, France urged for negotiations to be held among NATO allies concerning a burning issue, Turkey’s worrying “aggressive” participation in Libyan affairs. Paris accused Ankara of hindering truce attempts by not abiding the U.N. arms embargo.
“The support France has provided to the putschist and pirate Haftar… has exacerbated the crisis in Libya”, – Turkey’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
“What should actually be a cause for concern are France’s dark ties. It is unacceptable for a NATO ally to behave this way”, – it said.
Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) is supported by the United Arab Emirates, Russia and Egypt. France does not confirm backing up Haftar’s forces, however having given him help in combating ISIS militants. It has also ceased criticising states that overtly back up Haftar, bit periodically disapprove of Turkey’s position.
In an interview with La Croix newspaper on Tuesday, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian reiterated that Paris was not taking sides in Libya, but said that Turkey endangered European security by sending Syrian fighters to Libya.
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“It’s a danger to ourselves, an unacceptable strategic risk, because it’s 200 km (124 miles) from the Italian coast”.