Turkey, France: Long­time ri­valry on the hori­zon?

Arab News - - News Middle East - Menekse Tokyay Ankara

Cur­rent ten­sions be­tween Paris and Ankara — es­pe­cially over Libya, Syria and the Eastern Mediter­ranean — risk turn­ing into long­time ri­valry, ex­perts say. The con­flict be­gan es­ca­lat­ing last Novem­ber when Turk­ish Pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan ad­vised his French coun­ter­part Em­manuel Macron to “check whether he is brain dead” af­ter the two lead­ers traded crit­i­cism over Ankara’s cross-border of­fen­sive in north­east Syria.

Turkey re­cently blamed France for “drag­ging Libya into chaos,” just a day af­ter Macron ac­cused Ankara of be­ing in­volved in a “dangerous game” in Libya and urged Er­do­gan to end his ac­tiv­i­ties in the war-torn coun­try. Turkey backs the Gov­ern­ment of Na­tional Ac­cord (GNA) in Tripoli and has ac­cused France of fa­vor­ing GNA’s ri­val eastern com­man­der Khal­ifa Haf­tar, al­though Paris de­nies this.

FASTFACT

Turkey re­cently blamed France for ‘drag­ging Libya into chaos,’ just a day af­ter Macron ac­cused Ankara of be­ing in­volved in a ‘dangerous game’ in Libya and urged Er­do­gan to end his ac­tiv­i­ties in the war-torn coun­try.

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