Turkey, France: Longtime rivalry on the horizon?

France accuses Ankara of blocking truce efforts in Libya & breaking the UN arms embargo, recently urged talks in NATO about Turkey’s “aggressive” role

Current tensions between Paris and Ankara — especially over Libya, Syria and the east Mediterranean — risk turning into longtime rivalry, experts say.

The conflict began escalating last November when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan advised his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron to “check whether he is brain dead” after the two leaders traded criticism over Ankara’s cross-border offensive in northeast Syria.

Turkey recently blamed France for “dragging Libya into chaos,” just a day after Macron accused Ankara of being involved in a “dangerous game” in Libya and urged Erdogan to end his activities in the war-torn country.

Turkey backs the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli and has accused France of favoring GNA’s rival eastern commander Khalifa Haftar, although Paris denies this.

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