Turkey said on Friday that the European Irini mission to control the arms embargo on Libya was “biased” in favor of the strong man from the east, General Khalifa Haftar.
Turkish Foreign Minister criticized European mission Irini for monitoring arms embargo against Libya on Friday (June 19) following the NATO investigation into alleged incident by France and involving Turkish vessels.
At a press conference in Ankara with its Italian counterpart Luigi Di Maio, the Turkish minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, considered the Irini operation “biased” and “did not take into account the requests and concerns of the GNA”, the Tripoli government supported by Ankara.
He criticized this mission for trying to prevent shipments of weapons at sea intended for GNA while ignoring those supplied to the strong man in the east, Khalifa Haftar by his allies with air and land.
>> Read: The fate of Libyans in Moscow and Ankara
“Does she tell you anything about the (Russian) aircraft arriving in Libya from Syria? Is she interested in the weapons provided to Abu Dhabi? Reports on weapons supplies to Haftar of France?” The minister asked. “The Irini mission is not objective and does not contribute to solving the Libyan problem or to respecting the embargo,” he added.
“We believe that this mission can contribute, even if it is not a panacea, but it can help slow down entry (and arms) and respect the UN embargo,” Luigi Di Maio said.
Behavior that is considered “extremely aggressive”
France this week NATO member condemned Turkey’s “extremely aggressive” behavior against a French frigate engaged in the Irini mission in the Mediterranean in an attempt to control a cargo ship suspected of carrying weapons to Libya. Nato announced on Thursday that an investigation into the incident had begun.
Ankaras armed support for GNA, including deployment of military advisers and drones, has made it possible to reverse the balance of power and increase military success in recent weeks against the forces of Marshal Haftar.
>> Read: Syria, Libya, Iraq … Turkey and its army on all fronts
Regarding Italy, it considers it an important player in the situation in Libya because of its historical links to that country as a former colonial power.
Libya has been plagued by chaos since the fall of the Gaddafi regime in 2011. Since April 2019, the conflict has left hundreds of people dead, including many civilians, and driven more than 200,000 people to flee their homes.