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Post Turkish Incident France suspends Role in NATO Naval Mission
Team Sea and Coast | 02/07/2020

An Armed Forces Ministry official on Wednesday said that, France has informed NATO that it is suspending its involvement in a naval operation in the Mediterranean after the results of an investigation into an incident between French and Turkish warships.

On June 10th, Turkish warships flashed their radar lights thrice at the Courbet. The Turkish sailors had also put on bullet-proof vests and stood behind their light weapons during the incident, France said.

Ismail Hakki who is Turkey's ambassador to France had earlier told French senators that Paris was withdrawing, after the inspection of the incident had been inconclusive and did not back Paris' claims.

In the recent weeks, ties between NATO allies France and Turkey have soured over Libya, Northern Syria and drilling in the eastern Mediterranean.

Last month France protested during a meeting of alliance defense ministers which resulted in NATO opening an investigation.

An office-bearer from the French Armed Forces Ministry said a letter had been sent to NATO on Tuesday highlighting four demands: ensuring NATO call signals were not used by countries during national missions, better coordination between NATO and EU missions enforcing the embargo and putting in place mechanisms to avoid similar incidents in the future, a reaffirmation by alliance members of their commitment to respecting the embargo.