France ‘Will Not Tolerate’ Turkey’s Military Involvement in Libya
French President Emmanuel Macron has warned that his country “will not tolerate” Turkey’s ongoing military intervention in Libya, setting up a possible confrontation between the two NATO members. “I have already had the opportunity to say very clearly to [Turkish] President [Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan: I consider that Turkey is playing a dangerous game … and going against all of its commitments,” the French leader said. Ankara earlier this year sent troops to Libya in support of the UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA), which is based in Tripoli. Macron’s statements appear to be the clearest evidence yet that France, along with Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Russia, backs strongman Khalifa Haftar, whose self-styled Libyan National Army controls much of eastern and southern Libya but has recently suffered major setbacks in its year-plus-long campaign to retake the capital. The comments come just days after Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi upped Cairo’s military preparedness and threatened a possible “direct” response if pro-GNA forces advance on the strategic city of Sirte. Regarding France’s interests, Macron stressed that “each day men and women are fleeing misery [in Libya] to come to Europe. Do you think we can let Turkey for a long time import Syrian fighters to [Libya] given everything we know?” According to media reports, Turkish authorities on Monday arrested four people on suspicion of spying for Paris.