he Turkish Foreign Ministry said that France was responsible for the destabilization of the situation in Libya, following French President Emmanuel Macron’s critical remarks about the Turkish policy on the conflict-torn Arab nation.
On Wednesday, Macron accused his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, of violating the agreements reached at the Berlin conference on Libya in terms of refraining from interference in the Libyan civil conflict on either of the rivals’ side.
“During a press conference with the Greek prime minister, French President Emmanuel Macron once again tried to put on the agenda his unrealistic complaints against our nation. France bears the main responsibility for the problems faced by Libya since the eruption of the crisis in 2011. It is no secret that it provided full support for [commander of the Libyan National Army Khalifa] Haftar to gain a right to control Libyan natural resources”, the ministry’s spokesman, Hami Aksoy, said on late Wednesday in a statement.
He described Haftar’s offensive on the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) as the most serious threat to the Libyan territorial integrity and sovereignty.
“The main decision made at the Berlin conference, which is needed for the launch of the political process, is ensuring a permanent ceasefire. If France wants to make a contribution to fulfilling the conference’s decisions, it must put an end to its support for Haftar”, Aksoy added.
On 19 January, Berlin hosted an international conference on Libyan reconciliation with Turkey among participants. It resulted in the adoption of a joint communique in which signatories pledge to refrain from assistance to any of the rival Libyan administrations, among other things.
The conference was held amid Haftar’s ongoing offensive on the GNA-controlled Tripoli.
Turkey has repeatedly vowed readiness to send troops to assist the GNA, a pledge facilitated into action by a memorandum on security and military cooperation that Erdogan and GNA Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj signed in late November.
Alongside insisting that Turkish forces in Libya only provide training to GNA troops and do not engage in actual military actions, Erdogan has also deemed the Berlin communique void for a lacking signature of Haftar.