Paris and Ankara clash over Libya policy
French President Emmanuel Macron has made serious accusations against Nato partner Turkey regarding its role in the conflict in Libya. Those who "massively import" jihadist fighters from Syria back into the country were disregarding the decisions of the Berlin Libya Conference, he said. Over the last few weeks Ankara has been providing support for the troops of the UN-recognised unity government in Tripoli. Where is this dispute heading?
Don't write off Macron's criticism as angry outburst
Ankara should take the accusations from Paris seriously because they could lead to major foreign policy problems, writes the web portal Artı Gerçek, which is critical of the government:
“Turkey is not only risking a lot in Libya, but also within Nato. ... It would be wrong to dismiss as mere angry rhetoric the fact that Macron described Ankara's military aid for the jihadist Libyan leadership, which must certainly be regarded as excessive, as criminal. It should be understood as a discourse that could pave the way for openly accusing Ankara of being a 'state that supports terror'.”
EU must redefine relationship with Turkey
To Vima laments the lack of a common EU front against Turkey:
“It is well known that Germany views Turkey as a strong barrier to keep out refugee and migrant flows and as an important arms industry client. ... Given the fact that Turkey poses a broader threat and greater dangers regionally - as the incident with a French frigate demonstrated - we must redefine its entire relationship with Turkey. For years and in part due to the refugee crisis this is an EU-Turkey affair and not just a bilateral issue. That is why Macron's admonition to fellow leaders to at long last to discuss relations with Turkey 'without taboos' is of particular significance in the effort to forge a common strategy toward Ankara's escalating provocations.”