French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday accused fellow NATO member Turkey of “criminal responsibility” over its involvement in the Libyan conflict, in an escalating row with Ankara.
Turkey has increased its military presence “and massively re-imported jihadist fighters from Syria” even after foreign powers agreed earlier this year to end their meddling and respect a UN arms embargo, Macron told reporters.
“I think this is a historic and criminal responsibility for someone who claims to be a member of NATO,” Macron said after holding talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at Meseberg castle near Berlin.
Turkey’s conduct in Libya is “unacceptable to us,” Macron said, adding that the moment had come for Ankara to “urgently clarify” its stance.
Ankara supports Libya’s Turkish-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) in the conflict against eastern-based commander Khalifa Haftar.
Oil-rich Libya was thrown into chaos after veteran dictator Muammar Gaddafi was ousted in a 2011 NATO-backed uprising.
Rival administrations and militias have been vying for power ever since, increasingly drawing in foreign countries and threatening the region’s stability.
Macron last Monday accused Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government of playing a “dangerous game” in the north African country that could no longer be tolerated.