France's Macron denounces Turkey's attitude in Libya

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Tunisian President Kais Saied, left, is welcomed by French President Emmanuel Macron for bilateral talks at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Monday, June 22, 2020. Tunisian President Kais Saied is for a two-day visit in France. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

PARIS – French President Emmanuel Macron said Monday that Turkey's attitude in Libya is “unacceptable" as France sees Ankara as an obstacle to securing a cease-fire in the conflict-torn country.

Macron spoke at an evening news conference with Tunisian President Kais Saied in Paris.

Macron urged Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to end his country’s actions in Libya.

“I consider today that Turkey plays in Libya a dangerous game and is in breach of all its commitments,” he said.

Macron said he discussed the issue with U.S. President Donald Trump in a phone call earlier on Monday.

The White House said the two leaders agreed on the urgent need for a cease-fire in Libya and for the rapid resumption of negotiations by the Libyan parties. Trump and Macron reiterated that military escalation on all sides must stop immediately to prevent the Libyan conflict from becoming even more dangerous and intractable.

Tensions between France and Turkey escalated following a June 10 incident between Turkish warships and a French naval vessel in the Mediterranean, which France considers a hostile act under NATO’s rules of engagement. Turkey has denied harassing the French frigate.

France accused Ankara of repeated violations of the U.N. arms embargo on conflict-torn Libya.