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Iran Press TV

Turkey accuses France of 'bias' toward UAE, Egypt in Libya

Iran Press TV

Wednesday, 01 July 2020 1:13 PM

Turkey's Ambassador to Paris has accused France of being "biased" toward the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, saying the French government is ignoring violations of a Libyan arms embargo imposed by the United Nations Security Council to the benefit of renegade General Khalifa Haftar.

Ties between NATO allies France and Turkey have strained in recent weeks over Libya as France is accused of politically supporting Haftar, who is fighting against the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), which is backed by Turkey.

"When one supports the legitimate government we're accused of playing a dangerous game but when some countries like Egypt and the UAE support Haftar, then they are deemed legitimate and it's not dangerous. I'd call that biased, no?" Ismail Hakki Musa told a hearing of French senators on Wednesday.

President Emmanuel Macron of France on Monday said Turkish intervention in Libya was "criminal."

"The embargo is violated every day from the Egyptian border ... and every day there are flights from the UAE to Libya. Why are questions not being asked?" the Turkish Ambassador said.

"We think they are proceeding by selection, which strengths the support of Mr Haftar in the east."

Since 2014, two rival seats of power have emerged in Libya: the internationally-recognized government of Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj in Tripoli, and another group based in the eastern city of Tobruk, supported militarily by Haftar's rebels.

The rebels are backed by the UAE and France, besides Russia and Egypt.

Turkey has extended significant help to the government, helping it thwart a rebel offensive against the capital Tripoli.

On Tuesday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said all bilateral relations between Turkey and Libya were "within the framework of transparent agreements," but warned that the presence of France posed a "risk" to the North African country.

Cavusoglu said France is supporting a "pirate" in Libya, a reference to Haftar.

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