ARCHIVE – Turkey has again prevented EU marines from controlling the UN arms embargo against Libya. Photo: Sina Schuldt / dpa
As the European External Action Service (EAD) confirmed on Thursday after a report by the German Press Agency, the Foreign Ministry in Ankara vetoed the search of two merchant ships suspected of being used for illegal transports to the North African civil war country . Both were under the Turkish flag in the Mediterranean and were therefore not allowed to be inspected against the will of the Turkish authorities.
According to the EEAS, the cases occurred on Sunday and Monday last week.
As early as November there was a scandal over the EU’s use of the arms embargo control. At that time, Turkey forced the abandonment of a search of a container ship that had already begun by German marines and subsequently accused the German government and the EU of illegal behavior.
The reason for the Turkish action is that the government in Ankara fears that the EU operation in the Mediterranean could be unilaterally to the detriment of the party it supports in Libya. It is also suspected that the Turkish government itself is involved in the transport of weapons. As early as September, the EU imposed sanctions on a Turkish company that is said to have been involved in the transport of war material.
Further punitive measures were issued against companies from Jordan and Kazakhstan. States like Jordan are accused of supporting the powerful General Khalifa Haftar. He is an opponent of the forces in Libya supported by Turkey. This is one of the reasons why the EU repeatedly emphasizes that the operation called “Irini” is completely impartial and calls on all states not to block the inspection of freighters flying its flag.
“We expect all member states of the United Nations to comply with resolution 2292 (2016) and the subsequent resolutions of the UN Security Council on the arms embargo against Libya – including the requirement of all flag states to cooperate in inspections,” said EAD spokesman Peter Stano dpa on the recent blockades in Turkey.
This Friday, Germany will again send a Bundeswehr ship to the Mediterranean for the EU mission. About 220 soldiers will be on board the “Berlin”. For countries like Germany, a solution to the Libya conflict is also important because the conditions in the country favor the business of smugglers who illegally bring migrants across the Mediterranean to Europe.