Bashagha ends security cooperation between PC government and France – Al Marsad

Libya, 18 April 2019 – The Presidency Council’s interior minister, Fathi Bashagha, has suspended security cooperation with France.

In a letter today, Thursday, sent to the director of ministry’s Relations and Cooperation Department, Bashagha ordered all links with the French in relation to bilateral security affairs to be halted.

Bashagha said the decision had been taken because of “the position of the French government in support of the criminal Hafter”.

On 6 April, PC head Faiez Sarraj summoned French ambassador Béatrice le Fraper du Hellen to demand an explanation for France’s alleged support of Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar and the LNA. The ambassador was reported to have told Sarraj that France had nothing to do with the LNA’s offensive against Tripoli, knew nothing about it in advance and had earlier tried to dissuade Haftar from marching on Tripoli.

Two days later, in a bid to try and improve the strained relations, French President Emmanuel Macron phoned Sarraj to discuss the latest security situation and, according to a report published by Sarraj’s office, assure him of France’s rejection of “the attack on Tripoli and threats to the lives of civilians”.

It is not known if the French were informed beforehand of Baghagha’s move, however last Sunday a convoy of six 4X4s with 13 French nationals, reported to be French diplomatic security guards, tried to cross the border from Libya into Tunisia. They were prevented from doing so after a number of unaccounted weapons were found. After several hours, they were allowed to continue but not, according to Tunisian defence minister Abdelkrim Zbidi, before they surrendered their arms.

Related Posts