Turkey fumes over EU sanctions on maritime company accused of breaking UN Libya arm embargo
Turkey’s Foreign Ministry Monday slammed the European Union (EU) for imposing sanctions on a Turkish maritime company accused of shipping weapons to the UN-backed Government of Nations Accord (GNA) in violation of the UN arm embargo on the troubled oil-rich African country.
“It has no value in our sight to add our maritime company to the sanctions list in the context of Libya,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement. It is “extremely unfortunate that such a wrong decision” has been taken when efforts are being made to reduce tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean, it added.
The EU has frozen the assets of Avrasya Shipping, operator of the Cirkin cargo ship, which was embroiled in maritime showdown with a French frigate on a NATO mission, on June 10 after it was suspected for carrying weapons en route for Libya.
Ankara refuted the claims arguing the ship was carrying humanitarian aid.
The Cirkin has been linked to transport of military material to Libya in May and June 2020, the EU said.
Turkey claims the sanctions are one-sided and biased. “While the aid provided by our country to the legitimate government is described as a violation of the embargo, the ignoring of the countries and companies that send arms to the putschist Khalifa Haftar by land and air, especially the UAE, is a clear indicator of the EU’s biased attitude,” the ministry said.
Ankara has been active in Libya where it supports the GNA in opposition to rival administration located in the east.