Turkey’s parliament speaker on Tuesday criticized the French president’s remarks on Ankara’s support for the internationally recognized Libyan government.

“French President Emmanuel Macron’s frequent criticism of Turkey is based on irrational claims stemming from colonialism and is far from the new ways of the world,” Mustafa Sentop said on Twitter.

“Furthermore, these remarks harm deep-rooted Turkey-France relations,” he added.

After a meeting with Tunisian President Kais Saied in Paris, Macron late on Monday criticized Ankara for its support for the Libyan government against renegade general Khalifa Haftar, backed by France, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Russia.

The Turkish parliament speaker noted that Turkey’s initiative in Libya is based on international law and the aim of regional peace.

“If Macron gave importance to the peace in Libya that he claims, he should give up sliding the region into chaos by supporting Haftar, he should see that this support remains inconclusive,” he said.

Libya has been torn by civil war since the ouster of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. The country’s new government was founded in 2015 under a UN-led agreement, but efforts for a long-term political settlement failed due to a military offensive by Haftar’s forces.

The UN recognizes the Libyan government headed by Fayez al-Sarraj as the country’s legitimate authority as Tripoli battles Haftar’s militias.

The government launched Operation Peace Storm against Haftar in March to counter Haftar’s attacks on the capital Tripoli, and recently liberated strategic locations, including Tarhuna, Haftar’s final stronghold in western Libya. 

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