NATO to probe France-Turkey naval incident off Libya
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has said the alliance will look into an incident between French and Turkish naval vessels in the Mediterranean as the two allies accused each other over their actions in the region.
“We have made sure that NATO military authorities are investigating the incident to bring full clarity into what happened,” Jens Stoltenberg told reporters after chairing a video meeting between NATO defense ministers on June 18.
“I think that’s the best way now to deal with that, clarify what actually happened,” he added.
Turkey and France are on rival camps in Libya where the latter is supporting General Khalifa Haftar’s forces, accused of targeting breaking the ceasefire and staging attacks against the civilian targets in its operations for capturing Tripoli. Turkey backs the internationally supported Government of National Accord (GNA) led by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj through a security deal brokered in late 2019.
In an interview with the private broadcaster CNNTürk late June 18, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu slammed France for its continued support to Haftar at the expense of undermining international efforts to provide political unity in Libya.
On the incident between Turkish and French vessels, Çavuşoğlu said, “They are trying to examine our vessels there and whether we are deploying some things to Libya. We also have warships there. You will get your response if you treat your NATO ally in such a way.”