Airbus violating UN’s Libya arms embargo by maintaining Turkish cargo planes - report
European multinational aerospace corporation Airbus has served to break the UN's arms embargo imposed on war-torn Libya by maintaining Turkish military cargo planes, which are shipping weapons to the country, German broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported on Tuesday.
Turkey continues to carry out the arm shipment despite the embargo imposed on Libya since 2011, it said, citing German, French, Dutch and Spanish media platforms.
In Libya, Ankara backs the internationally-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA), supplying drones, weapons and trucks to boost its efforts in the ongoing conflict against rival faction, the Libyan National Army (LNA).
The maintenance of A400M type Turkish cargo aircraft was carried out by Airbus at its facility located in the town of Ottobrunn, near Munich, the report said. It was also stated that many Airbus employees maintained some of the aircrafts at the military base in Turkey´s central Kayseri province.
According to the agreement made with Turkey, the Airbus guaranteed to provide personnel to the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) to assist with the technical maintenance of the aircrafts until 2023, the report revealed.
The Bonn-based Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation rather than Turkey is the contractual partner of the Airbus, the German Foreign Ministry said, adding however, that it was important to increase pressure on Ankara regarding the embargo violations.
The Airbus confirmed the service was provided to the TSK in Kayseri, but left the questions regarding the cargo flights to Libya unanswered, the report added.
The A400M type Turkish army cargo planes, which have more than 100 military personnel and 37 tons of cargo capacity, took off for Libya at least 11 times as of the end of June. The military deployments underscore Turkey’s increasing involvement in Libya and the military and political affairs of the Mediterranean region.
A report submitted to the UN Security Council to the end of 2019 revealed the arms shipments Turkey is doing to Libya on a regular basis. Images published on the website of the Ministry of National Defense also confirmed the fact as the A400M cargo aircrafts were seen in the background of Libyan soldiers brought to Turkey for training.
In a harsh reaction, German politicians slammed the fact that the Turkish cargo planes used for military shipments to Libya were maintained by Airbus.
“It is unacceptable for a European company to assist Turkey in breaking the arms embargo imposed on Libya,” armament specialist of the opposition Green Party Tobias Lindner was cited as saying by Deutsche Welle on Tuesday.
Left Party lawmaker Sevim Dağdelen said Germany should completely stop the arms exportation to Turkey. Karl-Heinz Brunner, the defence expert of the ruling coalition partner the Social Democratic Party (SPD), said that Germany's foreign trade laws should be changed in order to avoid such situations in the future.
On Aug. 18, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas proposed imposing sanctions on companies operating for the breach of the embargo.
Germany does not have concrete information about the A400M being used in Libya, Maas said at the time.