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France directs EU foreign policy against Turkey, and the bloc is too weak to stop it

14 2 24
08.07.2020

It is rare to see a government throw a sustained tantrum against another due to differences over foreign policy, especially without first attempting to solve it through diplomatic means. That, though, is exactly what France has been doing for months against Turkey over its influence in the Mediterranean and Libya.

Over the past year in particular, France has led the way in directing the European Union’s opposition to Turkey’s regional interests and foreign policy initiatives. This was observed clearly in its condemnation of Turkey’s Operation Peace Spring in north-east Syria last October, and again with Ankara’s military and political support for the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) in Libya.

When the latter resulted in the defeat of forces loyal to renegade Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar last month as they tried to take the Libyan capital, Tripoli, France became particularly aggressive in its criticism. Turkey, said the French, is playing a “criminal” role in the country.

READ: The EU is dogmatic in its opposition to Turkey

This approach has been adopted in Paris despite the fact that the establishment of a safe zone for refugees in Syria and the strengthening of the GNA in Libya would both help to stem the flow of refugees and asylum seekers heading for Europe. They would also be encouraged to return to a safer political environment within their respective home countries.

Furthermore, Turkey’s “foiling” of the joint Israel-Greece-Egypt agreement for the EastMed pipeline and exploitation of the region’s energy resources had already angered France. This led to an alliance with Greece to condemn Turkey’s........

© Middle East Monitor