Emmanuel Macrcon news: President accuses Turkey of ‘criminal responsibility’ in Libya | World | News


The French President made the furious outburst when speaking at a press conference alongside German Chancellor Angela Merkel outside Berlin, accusing Turkey of failing to abide by pledges made at a conference on Libya in the German capital earlier this year. The comments from EU and NATO figurehead Mr Macron will almost certainly escalate a war of words between Paris and Ankara over recent weeks. Turkey recently intervened in Libya, providing air support, weapons and allied fighters from Syria to help the government based in Tripoli fight back against a year-long assault by eastern military leader Khalifa Haftar.

Mr Macron told reporters at Schloss Meseberg, a German government guest house: “I consider that today Turkey doesn’t respect any of the commitments made at the Berlin conference, increased its military presence in Libya since then and massively re-imported jihadist fighters from Syria.

“I think it’s a historic and criminal responsibility for a member of NATO.”

France and Turkey have been involved in a brutal war of words for several months over their conflicting policies in Libya, the Eastern Mediterranean and Northeast Syria.

The French President has previously alleged Turkey’s intervention in Libya has significantly increased the threat to Europe from terrorists.

He has also claimed its agreements for drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean put the territorial integrity of the likes of Cyprus and Greece at serious risk.

Last month, vessels from France and Turkey came dangerously close to a physical clash in the Mediterranean when a French frigate under NATO command was refused permission to inspect a cargo being escorted by its Turkish counterparts.

France itself has been accused of politically supporting Haftar, having previously given him military assistance to fight Islamist militants.

Paris has strongly denied backing Haftar, but has stopped short of criticising his allies.

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He has met with Russian President Mr Putin, and Mr Macron said the two leaders have agreed of trying to achieve a ceasefire.

Mr Macron said his Russian counterpart had told him that private contractors do not represent Russia.

When asked at the press conference in Berlin about Russian intervention in the country, he only raised the activities of the Wagner Group, and did not mention Russian warplanes sent to Libya in recent weeks.

Mr Macron said: “I told him (Vladimir Putin) of my very clear condemnation of the actions which are carried out by the Wagner force. He plays on this ambivalence.”

When explaining his assertion that Turkey is responsible for “the main foreign intervention” in Libya, the French President added: “Russia doesn’t claim to be intervening in Libya.

“Turkey claims it — it is its official boats, its military, its policy.”