France 'will not tolerate' Turkey's role in Libya, Macron says
By John Irish and Marine Pennetier
PARIS (Reuters) - France will not tolerate Turkey's military intervention in Libya, said President Emmanuel Macron on Monday, accusing Ankara of playing "a dangerous game".
Turkey has intervened decisively in Libya in recent weeks, providing air support, weapons and allied fighters from Syria to help the Tripoli-based government ward off a one-year attack by eastern military leader Khalifa Haftar.
"I have already had the opportunity to tell President (Tayyip) Erdogan very clearly that Turkey is playing a dangerous game in Libya today and is violating all commitments made at the Berlin conference," said Macron alongside his Tunisian counterpart Kais Saied a peace meeting earlier this year.
"We will not tolerate the role that Turkey plays in Libya," he said.
Aid from Turkey appears to have secured Libya's capital and west for the Tripoli government against Haftar's Libyan National Army (LNA), which is supported by the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Russia.
Paris has been accused of providing political support to Haftar after previously providing military support in the fight against militant Islamists. France denies Haftar's support, but has stopped blaming its allies while repeatedly criticizing Turkey.
Macron, who had spoken to President Donald Trump about the crisis in Libya on Monday, briefly condemned the role of Russian mercenaries in Libya, but focused primarily on Ankara's role.
When asked about Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who proposed to intervene in Libya, Macron said the Egyptian leader had cause for concern.
"You took note of President Sisi's legitimate concern when he saw troops arriving at his border," said Macron. Armed forces supported by Turkey are not known to operate near the Egyptian border.
"This is a Mediterranean issue that concerns us because today men and women from Libya flee from misery every day to come to Europe. Do you think we can have Syrian fighters imported to Libya for a long time if we can know everything?"
(Reporting by John Irish and Marine Pennetier; editing by Leslie Adler and Peter Graff)
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