France’s FM Le Drian says new sanctions on Turkey possible

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France’s foreign minister said on Wednesday that European Union foreign ministers would meet on July 13 to discuss Turkey and said new sanctions on Ankara could be considered.

“At our request there will be a meeting of EU foreign ministers on July 13 solely on the Turkish question,” Jean-Yves Le Drian told a parliamentary hearing.

“Sanctions have already been taken on Turkey by the EU over Turkey’s drilling in the Cyprus economic zone. Other sanctions may be envisaged.”

 

Earlier on Wednesday, France said it is suspending its involvement in a NATO naval operation off Libya’s coast after a standoff with a Turkish ship and amid growing tensions within the military alliance over Libya.

France’s Defense Ministry said Wednesday that France sent a letter Tuesday to NATO saying it is suspending its participation in Sea Guardian “temporarily.”

France has accused Turkey of repeated violations of the UN arms embargo on conflict-torn Libya and branded the Turkish government in Ankara as an obstacle to securing a cease-fire in the North African nation, which Turkey firmly denies.

France is also calling for crisis mechanism to prevent a repeat of an incident earlier this month between Turkish warships and a French naval vessel in the Mediterranean. NATO is investigating what happened.

 

 

Reuters

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