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France Accuses Turkey of Violating UN Arms Embargo on Libya - NATO’s

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday that the military alliance would investigate the incident that took place between the three Turkish warships and a French naval vessel in the Mediterranean Sea, as the French government accused Turkey of repeated violations of the U.N. arms embargo on conflict-torn Libya and branded Ankara as nothing more than an obstacle in securing a cease-fire in the war-torn Libya.

According to a French defense official, the Frigate Courbet was shot three times by a Turkish naval targeting radar when the French Courbet tried to approach a Turkish civilian ship suspected of involvement in arms trafficking. The ship was being escorted by three Turkish warships. The Courbet backed off after being targeted by the Turkish Naval Ships. The French frigate was part of NATO's naval operation in the Mediterranean, Sea Guardian, at the time of the incident. France claims that under the alliance's rules of engagement such conduct is considered a hostile act. Turkey has denied harassing the Courbet. 

Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg clarified that said that “NATO supports the implementation of U.N. decisions, including U.N. arms embargoes." In a statement prior to the NATO meeting, the French foreign ministry took aim at Ankara, claiming that “the main obstacle to the establishment of peace and stability in Libya today lies in the systematic violation of the U.N. arms embargo, in particular by Turkey”. In remarks to a French Senate committee, Defense Minister Florence Parly said that over eight NATO member countries are supporting Paris over the incident, which she described as “serious and unacceptable.”

Reporter : Srijan Vasireddy

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