Macron says Turkish acts in Libya criminal as Erdoğan imports jihadists

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday that Turkey was importing jihadists into war-torn Libya, labelling Ankara’s intervention as criminal, Reuters reported.

Turkey has stepped up its support for the internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) in Libya after a military cooperation deal in November, providing air support, weapons and allied fighters from Syria despite a United Nations arms embargo.

Macron said the government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was “massively importing” jihadists from Syria, according to Reuters.

“I think it’s an historic and criminal responsibility for a country which claims to be a NATO member,” he said.

Turkey’s military support for the GNA in the battle for the capital Tripoli has seen the GNA turn the tide in its fight against the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) which is backed by Russia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and France.

Tensions have recently increased between Turkey and France over a June 10 incident in the eastern Mediterranean in which France claimed Turkish frigates exercised “extreme aggression’’ towards a French warship enforcing a U.N. arms embargo on Libya.

Paris has complained that one of its ships was subjected to radar targeting by Turkish frigates while trying to inspect a cargo vessel believed to be carrying weapons.

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