September 4, 2020 - 18:28 AMT
Turkey says Macron "hysterical" over Libya, East Mediterranean

Turkey’s foreign minister said on Friday French President Emmanuel Macron had become “hysterical” over developments in the Libyan and Syrian conflicts and a dispute over maritime boundaries in the Eastern Mediterranean, Reuters reports.

Relations between NATO allies Turkey and France have deteriorated over conflicting policies in Syria, Libya and Turkey’s dispute with Greece over energy resources, and the two sides have traded barbs in recent weeks.

Ankara accuses Paris of politically backing Libya’s Khalifa Haftar against the Tripoli-based government recognized by the United Nations, having previously given him military assistance to fight Islamist militants. Paris denies this.

“In Libya they (France) supported the putschist Haftar and made a grave mistake,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said “Things changed, balances shifted, Haftar was defeated and Macron became hysterical.”

Turkey and France also almost came to blows in June after a French warship attempted to inspect a Turkish vessel as part of a U.N. arms embargo against Libya.

Speaking to reporters in Ankara, Cavusoglu also said Turkey had thwarted French hope for Haftar to capture the Libyan capital by lending military support for the Government of National Accord (GNA), repelling Haftar’s assault in June.

“With that hysteria, he didn’t know what to do. Right after that, he said our ships had harassed their ships in the eastern Mediterranean but couldn’t document this and was humiliated.”