MESEBERG, Germany – French President Emmanuel Macron expressed concern over the worsening crisis in Libya on Monday, attributing the matter to Turkish and Russian interventions in the military conflict and the support of both countries to opposing warring parties. Macron went on to accuse Turkey of “re-imported extremist fighters from Syria” despite explicit international agreements, describing Ankara’s intervention as “criminal”.
“I think this is a historic and criminal responsibility for someone who claims to be a member of NATO,” said Macron about Turkey’s role in the conflict.
Macron also accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of double standards regarding his country’s mercenaries working in Libya.
For weeks, French officials have said that Turkey’s intervention is encouraging Russia to gain a greater foothold in Libya.
The National Oil Corporation of Libya said on Friday that Russian mercenaries had entered the Sharara oil field. According to a U.N. report last May, the Wagner Group, a private Russian military contractor, deployed up to 1,200 people in Libya. Putin commented that Wagner did not represent Russia and refuted Macron’s accusations of Russian duplicity.