22:31 GMT26 October 2020
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    ANKARA (Sputnik) - The European Union demonstrates double standards by including the Turkish vessel operator Avrasya Shipping in its sanctions list on Libya, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a press release.

    "The inclusion of a Turkish maritime transportation company within the list of sanctions in connection with Libya at today’s meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council holds no value whatsoever vis-à-vis Turkey", the press release said on Monday.

    According to the ministry, the EU's Operation Irini aimed at fully enforcing the UN arms embargo on Libya through the use of maritime, aerial and satellite assets rewards the leader of the Libyan National Army, Khalifa Haftar, and punishes the UN-backed Libyan Government of National Accord.

    "While Turkey's humanitarian aid to the legitimate government is labelled as a violation of the embargo, the fact that the countries, UAE in particular, and companies, which ship arms to the putschist Haftar by land and air in contravention to the resolutions of UNSC, are overlooked, is a clear indication of the partial stance of the EU".
    Troops loyal to the Libyan Government of National Accord prepare themselves before heading to Sirte, in Tripoli, Libya July 6, 2020
    Ayman Al-Sahili
    Troops loyal to the Libyan Government of National Accord prepare themselves before heading to Sirte, in Tripoli, Libya July 6, 2020
    "Instead of taking a stand on the side of international legitimacy, it is evident that the EU insists on maintaining its double-standards as demonstrated with Operation Irini, which rewards the aggressor". the press release added.

    On Monday, the European Council decided to impose sanctions upon two people and three entities, including Avrasya Shipping, for human rights abuses in Libya and UN arms embargo violations. According to the EU, the operator's Cirkin vessel has been linked to the transportation of military supplies to Libya in May and June.

    In June, following a standoff between Turkish and French ships in the Mediterranean, the French Foreign Ministry said that the main obstacle for the peace process in Libya was the breach of the arms embargo by Turkey, while President Emmanuel Macron slammed Turkey, which backs the Tripoli-based administration, for playing a dangerous game in this North African country.

    The French leader subsequently called for sanctions against foreign powers involved in the Libyan conflict, adding that it is "necessary to obtain a ceasefire and begin a real dynamic towards a political solution to the Libyan conflict".

    sanctions, Sanctions, EU sanctions, Libya, European Union, Turkey
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