Turkey said France would compromise the security of NATO by backing Haftar forces in Libya


Ibrahim Kalın, the Turkish presidential spokesman, said on Saturday that France was risking the security of NATO supporting rebel General Khalifa Haftar and his so-called Libyan National Army (LNA), Sabah newspaper reported.”In Libya, we are supporting the legitimate government and the French government supports a war chief as illegitimate and jeopardize the security of NATO, the security of the Mediterranean, North Africa and security from Libya to the political stability,” Kalın said.

Turkey’s recent military support of the U. N.-recognised Government of National Agreement (GNA) in the battle for the libyan capital, Tripoli, has seen the GNA turn the tide in its fight against the LNA forces.

Over the past weeks, Haftar’s LNA has largely retreated from the north-west of the country after NEG forces gained the upper-hand earlier this month after retaking the airport of the capital, all the main entry and at the exit of the city, and a string of towns.

Kalın said that Turkey supports the GNA position as Sirte and Jufra must be evacuated by the LNA forces in order to achieve a “cease-fire sustainable,” of the agreement.

Tensions have increased recently between Turkey and France, who back opposing sides in the Libyan conflict.

NATO is investigating a June 10 incident in the east of the Mediterranean, where France claims the Turkish frigates exercised “extreme aggression” towards a French warship the application of a U. N. arms embargo on Libya.

Paris complained that one of its vessels has been submitted to a radar targeting Turkish frigates, while trying to inspect a cargo vessel suspected of carrying arms to Libya.

“France, for us, is an important NATO ally. It is an important country in Europe. We do not want tensions with France or any other country, ” Kalın said.


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