France stands back from NATO’s Libya op after maritime face-off with Turkish Navy – media
Paris has “temporarily” suspended its role in Operation Sea Guardian off the coast of Libya. The French Defense Ministry sent a letter to NATO headquarters announcing the decision and calling upon allies to “solemnly reaffirm their attachment” to the arms embargo on the war-ravaged country. The Turkish envoy to France confirmed the news, saying the French Navy is calling off its frigate Courbet which engaged in a mid-sea standoff with Turkish warships escorting a civilian freighter on its way to Libya several weeks ago. The incident exacerbated already tense relations between the two NATO countries. French President Emmanuel Macron called Turkey’s role in Libya “criminal,” whereas Ankara maintained that the “biased” French violated the arms embargo imposed on the North African nation.