Turkey has slammed French President Emmanuel Macron over his remarks on the role Ankara plays in the Libyan conflict as a demonstration of “the eclipse of reason,” accusing Paris of playing a dangerous game and of dragging the war-torn country into chaos.
“French President Macron’s description of the support of our country is pledging to the legitimate government of Libya in line with the relevant U.N. resolutions as a ‘dangerous game’ can only be explained as the eclipse of reason,” read a written statement issued by Hami Aksoy, the spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry said on June 23.
The statement followed Macron’s accusations against Turkey’s role in Libya as he said in a press conference in Tunis, “I have already had the opportunity to say very clearly to President [Tayyip] Erdogan, I consider that Turkey is playing a dangerous game in Libya today and going against all of its commitments made at the Berlin conference.”
“We won’t tolerate the role that Turkey is playing in Libya,” he added.
Turkey and France are on the rival camps in Libya as Ankara supports the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli and Paris backs General Khalifa Haftar troops which have violated the ceasefire in the country multiple times.
Turkey signed a deal with the GNA late 2019 to provide military consultancy in its efforts to defend Tripoli against Haftar’s forces. France openly backs Haftar along with Russia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.
“Macron should recall that many difficulties experienced in today’s Libya stem from Haftar’s aggression and denial of ceasefires,” Aksoy said, accusing Paris of having responsibility of Libya’s dragging into chaos because of its support to illegitimate powers in the country. “That’s why it’s France who is playing a dangerous game in Libya,” he stated.
The Libyan people will never forget the harms given by France for its selfish interests, Aksoy said, calling on France to pay attention and lead efforts for the examination of the mass graves found in Tarhuna city of Libya at the hands of Haftar forces and mercenaries as a grave war crime.
Ankara’s statement also underlined Paris’ silence over Egypt’s threats of using force in Libya which violates international laws.
The French stance is plunging the entire region and the eastern Mediterranean into further trouble and escalating tension, Aksoy said, calling on France to cease acting like a littoral country in the region.