BEIRUT, LEBANON (8:20 P.M.) – Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday that Turkey is awaiting an apology from France after the naval standoff incident between the two countries in the Mediterranean.
According to Reuters, Cavusoglu said that “Ankara expects France to apologize after the incident between the Turkish and French warships in the Mediterranean.”
France announced the suspension of its participation in NATO naval operations in the Mediterranean after a confrontation with Turkish warships, and amid escalating tensions within the military alliance over the conflict in Libya.
France accused Turkish warships of hostile behavior after its ships tried to search a vessel in June suspected of violating the United Nations arms embargo on Libya.
France says its frigate received three warnings by the Turkish Maritime Targeting Radar, when it attempted to approach a civilian ship flying the Tanzanian flag suspected of smuggling weapons and accompanied by Turkish ships.
According to the French side, this is a hostile behavior in the rules of engagement for “NATO”, but Turkey denies the French allegations. “NATO” confirmed that the investigators had finished their report on the incident, but he declined to discuss it because its results were considered “classified.”