The Foreign Minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Anwar Gargash, stressed the UAE’s solidarity with France in facing “the continuous statements and hostilities from Turkey”.
This comes after Ankara targeted a French navy ship that was part of a NATO mission in the Mediterranean.
“The UAE confirms its solidarity with France in the face of the ongoing statements and hostilities from Turkey.” Gargash tweeted, adding, “We strongly condemn its dangerous behavior in targeting a French navy ship as part of a NATO mission to impose an arms embargo approved by the United Nations earlier this month”.
Last week, France condemned the “very aggressive” behavior of Turkey, a NATO member, against a French frigate taking part in a NATO mission in the Mediterranean.
The incident occurred during an attempt to search a cargo ship that was suspected of transporting weapons to Libya.
The French army indicated that the French ship was subjected to three “radar radiation flashes” from one of the Turkish frigates protecting the cargo ship.
Earlier this month, Turkish warships prevented Greek forces that were taking part in the EU’s ‘IRINI’ operation from inspecting a cargo ship loaded with weapons destined for Libya.
‘IRINI’ is an EU naval operation that was launched in the beginning of April 2020 to monitor the UN arms embargo.
The European operation, headquartered in Rome, uses air and satellite surveillance to carry out its mission. Turkey and Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) have expressed their opposition to the mission.
Several Turkish cargo ships loaded with weapons have been spotted docking in the port of Tripoli, in addition to civilian and military cargo planes landing at Mitiga and Misrata airports.
Turkey has provided GNA forces with advanced weapons, armored vehicles, drones and thousands of Syrian fighters.
On Monday, French President Emmanuel Macron said in a joint press conference held with Tunisian President Kais Saeed that “Paris will not tolerate Turkey’s military intervention in Libya”.
“I already had the opportunity to say very clearly to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that I consider Turkey to be playing a dangerous game in Libya. It contradicts all of its commitments made at the Berlin conference,” Macron added.
France is seeking broad regional and international support in condemning Ankara’s actions in Libya and the eastern Mediterranean.
The Arab League has also warned of Turkey’s expansionist agenda throughout the Arab world. Former Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, Amr Moussa, said in press statements that Turkey poses the greatest danger to the Arab world today.
He noted that Turkey has recently taken military action in three different Arab countries. In northern Iraq through air strikes, in northern Syria with a military presence on the ground, and in Libya via air, naval, and ground support.