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France accuses Turkey of taking arms to Libya

Turkey blames France for 'dragging Libya into chaos'

France has pulled out of Nato-led anti-smuggling patrols in the Mediterranean, accusing Turkey, a fellow member of the Western military alliance, of taking arms to Libya.

In a statement, the French defence ministry said it was suspending its participation in Operation Sea Guardian to shine a spotlight on an anti-trafficking operation, of which the smugglers were a part.

It said that regardless of a clash at sea between the allies’ navies last month, the real problem was that Turkey, a Nato member, was repeatedly violating the arms embargo on Libya.

Tensions have escalated since a Turkish warship prevented a French frigate inspecting a suspected arms cargo aboard a Tanzanian vessel last month.

Turkey supports the UN-backed government in Tripoli, while France is seen as a backer of General Khalifa Haftar’s rival force.

source: bbc

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