Istanbul, 22 September 2020 (dpa/MIA) – The European Union’s sanctions against a Turkish company for violating a UN arms embargo on Libya show the bloc’s bias and double standards, the Foreign Ministry in Ankara said on Tuesday.
The EU on Monday froze the assets of Turkey‘s Avrasya Shipping, along with those of Kazakhstan’s Sigma Airlines and Jordan’s Med Wave Shipping.
It accused Avrasya Shipping’s vessel Cirkin of flouting the embargo to smuggle “military material” to Libya in May and June. The Cirkin was involved in an incident between Turkey and France in the Mediterranean.
Ankara insists it was carrying humanitarian aid.
“While Turkey‘s humanitarian aid to the legitimate government is labelled as a violation of the embargo,” the ministry said that countries like the United Arab Emirates and companies that “ship arms to the putchist Haftar by land and air … are overlooked,” referring to military strongman Khalifa Haftar.
This is a “clear indication” of the bloc’s bias, it added.
Haftar is backed by the UAE, Russia and Egypt.
Turkey supports the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) based in Tripoli. In November, Ankara and Tripoli signed agreements on military and security cooperation and maritime boundaries.
The EU’s decision had “no value” for Turkey, the ministry said. It “rewards the aggressor” by “maintaining its double standards,” it added, “as demonstrated with Operation Irini,” which is aimed at stabilizing Libya and supporting the UN-led political peace process.
The ministry decried as “erroneous” the “highly unfortunate” sanctions’ decision at a time when efforts are under way to lower tensions in the eastern Mediterranean.