Turkey has sent away German soldiers who had boarded a Turkish freighter to check whether it was transporting weapons for Libya. According to the German army, German Marines had boarded the “suspicious” ship on Sunday, but Turkey vetoed the control canceled shortly afterwards. Ankara confirms the events.
Germany has been participating in the EU mission Irini since August with the Frigate Hamburg, which was set up to maintain the UN oil and arms embargo on Libya.
The Germans were on board all night and opened many containers. By the time the military had left the freighter, they had found nothing suspicious, according to a German defence spokesman.
According to him, the frigate had followed the standard procedure by waiting four hours for authorization before checking. “All procedures have been followed correctly.” According to Turkey, the Rosaline A transports food and paint, and the German team violated international law by not waiting for Turkish permission.
The incident happened about 200 kilometres north of the Libyan city of Benghazi. Ankara has previously had a conflict with France over weapons control at sea.
Turkey supports the internationally recognised government of Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj in the capital of Tripoli. The main party from the east is Warlord Khalifa Haftar who controls large parts of the country.