France has stepped up its position regarding blatant Turkish interference in Libya’s territory, as the French presidency said on Sunday that “the Turks are behaving unacceptably using NATO, and France cannot allow that.”
Sky News reported that France had intensified months ago its criticism of Turkish regional ambitions, saying that Turkey’s policy has become more aggressive, especially with the deployment of seven ships off Libya, in addition to violating the arms embargo.
President Emmanuel Macron discussed this issue with his American counterpart, Donald Trump, this week, and private discussions will take place in the upcoming weeks with NATO partners involved in the field.
Macron previously regretted the silence of the alliance on Turkish military attacks against Kurdish armed groups in Syria, an ally of Western powers in combating terrorist groups in Syria.
On June 12th, The European Union had requested assistance from NATO to enforce respect for the arms embargo on Libya, after Turkish forces prevented its ships from inspecting a suspicious ship.
In light of the ambitions raised by gas exploration in the eastern Mediterranean, Turkey is providing support to the Government of National Accord (GNA) headed by Fayez Al-Sarraj.
In December 2019, Turkey signed with the GNA, which is an interim non-elected government recognised by the United Nations, two MoUs on defence, and gas drilling in the Mediterranean. However, the agreement was rejected by Greece, and several other countries concerned with maritime borders in that region.
Ankara recently carried out excavations near the island of Cyprus, which sparked protests by neighbouring countries such as Cyprus, Greece, and Egypt, in addition to the European Union, which threatened Turkey with sanctions.