Home / World / Reuters: NATO hides a hot topic between France and Turkey – “Extremely sensitive issue”

Reuters: NATO hides a hot topic between France and Turkey – “Extremely sensitive issue”



A NATO inquiry into a heated incident between French and Turkish ships in June has been described as an extremely sensitive issue for public debate and neither Paris nor Ankara, diplomats told Reuters.

The issue underscores NATO’s difficulties with Turkey, which is also in conflict with Greece over energy rights and with its ally, the United States.

On June 10, a French frigate on a NATO mission attempted to inspect a Tanzanian flagship suspected of smuggling weapons into Libya.

France claims that the frigate was harassed by Turkish naval vessels accompanying the ship and accuses Turkey of violating the UN arms embargo. Turkey, for its part, denies the accusation and says that the French frigate was moving threateningly.

According to Reuters, “the investigation now seems unlikely to resolve the dispute between the two countries.”

; A NATO official confirmed that the report was complete, but declined to comment further.

“They put it under the rug,” said one European diplomat, while another noted NATO’s determination to keep Turkey on its side because of its military influence and strategic position. ».

“So both sides claim victory, while accusations continue to be made from both sides,” the statement said.

Last week, French President Emmanuel Macron condemned Erdogan’s “unacceptable behavior”, to which the Turkish president replied: “Do not take care of Turkey.” The two men are also in conflict over Greece, which according to Reuters questions Turkey’s right to conduct hydrocarbon exploration in waters claimed by Greece and Cyprus.

“France has obviously taken part in exercises by the Greek navy,” the article notes, adding: “Here, too, NATO is trying to do everything possible to prevent undesirable events, through ‘phasing-out’ talks.”

“It is unclear whether there will be a result in these negotiations,” said a senior NATO official. “Any statement from Paris, Ankara or Athens makes it even more difficult for the Allies to withdraw from their positions.”

Differences with Turkey within NATO are not new, Reuters states.

Last year, for the first time, Turkey refused to support the defense plan for the Baltic Sea and Poland, unless NATO offered political support to Ankara’s fight against a Syrian Kurdish militia backed by Washington.

Turkey’s purchase of Russian S-400 missile systems also appears to be contempt for the United States and other allies. However, it shows that local tensions can be ignored at the moment.

“Part of this is Macron’s desire to become the great man in Europe, just as it is with Erdogan,” a US envoy to Europe said.




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