BEIRUT, LEBANON (4:00 A.M.) – The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has announced an investigation into Paris’s allegations of a Turkish naval ship’s harassment of a French frigate in the Mediterranean.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Thursday, according to Reuters news agency:
“The alliance will conduct an investigation into French allegations that the Turkish navy did not respond to a call from a member country requesting inspection of a ship in the Mediterranean earlier this month.”
“A number of allies touched on the incident (at sea) in the Mediterranean during the meeting,” Stoltenberg said at a news conference after a meeting of NATO defense ministers.
The French Ministry of Defense said on Wednesday that “a French ship participating in a NATO mission in the Mediterranean, has recently been subjected to a ‘very violent’ maneuver by the Turkish frigates.”
The French official accused the Turkish navy of harassing a French warship carrying out an alliance mission.
A French Defense Ministry official said that NATO “should not bury its head in the sand regarding Turkey’s recent behavior towards its members.”
France and Turkey have been at odds over a number of issues in the last eight months, including Ankara’s military operations in Syria and Libya.