Operation Irini: Turkey killed the EU mission to keep arms in Libya



A day after NATO said it would investigate an incident in the Mediterranean Sea involving Turkish and French ships, NATO criticized the European Union's naval mission aimed at halting arms shipments to Libya.

Named for the Greek word for peace, Operation Irini was founded to deploy the United Nations Armed Forces against Libya, where the UN-accredited government (GNA) ceased to be the ground-based combatant of the ceasefire soldier Khalifa Haftar.

Turkey supports the GNA in Tripoli, with the support of Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, sending drones and air defense systems to help prevent a military attack on the capital.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mewalat Kawsoglu said Operation Iri failed to meet internationally recognized government demands and concerns.

"Does this say anything about the warplanes coming from Syria to Libya? Is it monitoring weapons sent from Abu Dhabi? Are there reports that France supplied arms to Haftar?" He asked at a US news conference with his Italian counterpart, Luigi de Mao.

"This is not the goal.

Cavusoglu said Turkey, along with Italy, would achieve sustainable peace and political process that would lead to Libya, adding that NATO allies could also cooperate in the eastern Mediterranean.

De Mao said Operation Iri was criticized by rival parties in Libya, which "may have been balanced."

"Our mission is to guarantee air, naval and satellite structures that will cross sea borders, control the flow of weapons through ships and borders."

Nato investigated
Meanwhile, coalition members have begun an official investigation on Thursday in the Mediterranean Sea between France and Turkey, NATO said.

Paris complained that the ships had come under the radar targeting a Turkish warship while trying to inspect a cargo ship supposed to be carrying weapons in Libya.

Ankara, however, accused the French ship of being "baseless" instead of "high-speed and dangerous maneuvering."

France has accused Turkey of repeatedly inflicting UN weapons on Libya and citing Ankara as an obstacle to achieving a ceasefire.

It has long been suspected that Paris was in favor of Hafta, Libya's oil-rich east.

Libya was overthrown in 2011 following a coup that killed longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi.

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