Turkey slams France’s ‘destructive’ approach to Libya conflict

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and french President Emmanuel Macron have clashed over Libya. (AFP/FIle)
Short Url
Updated 30 June 2020

Turkey slams France’s ‘destructive’ approach to Libya conflict

  • Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu accuses France of seeking to boost Russian presence in Libya

ANKARA Turkey on Tuesday blasted France’s “destructive” approach to the conflict in Libya and accused it of seeking to increase Russian presence there.
It was the latest in a string of increasingly testy exchanges between the two NATO allies over the issue.
“France, which Macron governs or rather which he can’t manage to govern at the moment, has been in Libya only for its own interests and ambitions with a destructive approach just like it pushed Africa to instability in the past with a colonialist approach, and like it bombed and quit Libya in 2011,” Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters in Ankara.
Cavusoglu also said France was working against NATO and in favor of Russia in Libya.
“On one side, NATO sees Russia as a threat but on the other side NATO ally France is working to increase Russia’s presence there,” he said.
Macron on Monday accused Turkey of “criminal responsibility” over its involvement in the Libyan conflict.
Oil-rich Libya was thrown into chaos after dictator Muammar Qaddafi was ousted in a 2011 NATO-backed uprising.
Rival administrations and militias have been vying for power ever since, increasingly drawing in foreign countries and threatening the region’s stability.
Tensions have been building over the last year between Macron and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, notably when the French leader said the lack of NATO response to a unilateral Turkish operation in northern Syria showed the alliance was undergoing “brain death.”
Some analysts suspect France is backing Haftar alongside Egypt, Russia and the United Arab Emirates, but Paris insists it is neutral in the conflict.


Erdogan says only solution in Mediterranean is dialogue

Updated 13 August 2020

Erdogan says only solution in Mediterranean is dialogue

  • Turkey and Greece, NATO allies, are vehemently at odds over overlapping claims for hydrocarbon resources in the region

ANKARA: President Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday that the only solution to Turkey’s dispute with Greece over energy exploration in the eastern Mediterranean was through dialogue and negotiation, and Ankara was not chasing any “adventures” in the region.
Turkey and Greece, NATO allies, are vehemently at odds over overlapping claims for hydrocarbon resources in the region, and tensions have risen since Ankara launched exploration operations in a disputed area of the Mediterranean on Monday, in a move Greece called illegal.
Speaking to members of his ruling AK Party, Erdogan said the escalation of tensions in the region was caused by Greece, and urged Athens to respect Turkey’s rights. “The path to a solution in the eastern Mediterranean is via dialogue and negotiation. We are not chasing any unnecessary adventures or seeking tensions,” he said.