Turkish Foreign Minister Calls for EU Backing After Naval Standoff With France
15:46 GMT 06.07.2020(updated 15:47 GMT 06.07.2020)
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu urged the European Union on Monday to side with Ankara after accusing France of wrongly depicting a standoff between their ships in the Mediterranean.
"EU should side with the solution, not conflict in Eastern Mediterranean," Cavusoglu was quoted as saying by the state-run Daily Sabah during a press conference with top EU diplomat Josep Borrell.
France said that a Turkish warship escorting a Tanzanian-flagged vessel used a targeting radar on its frigate Courbet on 10 June as the French ship approached the convoy while on a NATO mission to stop arms smuggling to Libya, where Paris and Ankara are backing rival sides.
The Turkish minister argued that his country's ambassador to France had exposed as false the French account of the incident. Ismail Hakki Musa told Ankara's version of the story to the French Senate's committee on foreign affairs and defence on 1 July, angering the French Foreign Ministry.
France pulled out of the NATO mission shortly afterwards.
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