Belfast Telegraph

Monday 24 November 2014

Turkey and France in row over Nato’s Libya role

French Mirage 2000 jet fighters are prepared for a mission to Libya (AP)
French Mirage 2000 jet fighters are prepared for a mission to Libya (AP)
Libyan women demonstrate during a rally in support of the allied air campaigns against Gaddafi's troops (AP)
William Hague said Britain will continue to take robust action against Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's regime in Libya
French military ground crews prepare a Mirage 2000 jet fighter for a mission to Libya, at Solenzara 126 Air Base, Corsica, France Wednesday, March 23, 2011. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
French military ground crews prepare a Mirage 2000 jet fighter for a mission to Libya, at Solenzara 126 Air Base, Corsica, Wednesday, March 23, 2011. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
A member of the French military ground crew helps to prepare a Mirage 2000 jet fighter being made ready for a mission to Libya, at Solenzara 126 Air Base, Corsica island, France, Wednesday, March 23, 2011. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
French military ground crews prepare a Mirage 2000 jet fighter for a mission to Libya, at Solenzara 126 Air Base, Corsica island, Mediterranean Sea, Wednesday, March 23, 2011. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
In this image taken during an organized trip by the Libyan authorities, a Libyan supporter of Moammar Gadhafi wearing a uniform displays his new automatic weapon during a staged spontaneous demonstration in Ban-Waled, home of the Warfallah tribe, 160kms (100 miles) south east of Tripoli, Libya, Wednesday March 23, 2011. International airstrikes forced Moammar Gadhafi's tanks to roll back from the western city of Misrata on Wednesday, giving respite to civilians who have endured more than a week of attacks and a punishing blockade.(AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
In this image taken during an organized trip by the Libyan authorities, Libyan supporters of Moammar Gadhafi, some of whom came from Tripoli, take part in a staged demonstration in Ban-Waled, home of the Warfallah tribe, 160kms (100 miles) south east of Tripoli, Libya, Wednesday March 23, 2011. International air strikes forced Moammar Gadhafi's tanks to roll back from the western city of Misrata on Wednesday, giving respite to civilians who have endured more than a week of attacks and a punishing blockade.(AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
Libyan rebels run to take cover as mortars from Moammar Gadhafi's forces are fired on them on the frontline near Zwitina, the outskirts of the city of Ajdabiya, south of Benghazi, eastern Libya, Wednesday, March 23, 2011. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)
A gun was handed over to a Libyan boy during a rally in support of the allied air campaigns against the troops of Moammar Gadhafi in Benghazi, eastern Libya, Wednesday, March 23, 2011. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)
A Libyan woman reacts with her hands written on them in Arabic " I love Libya' as she joins a rally in support of the allied air campaigns against the forces of Moammar Gadhafi in Benghazi, eastern Libya, Wednesday, March 23, 2011. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)
In this image taken during an organized trip by the Libyan authorities, a Libyan supporter of Moammar Gadhafi loads his weapon on the outskirt of a staged spontaneous demonstration in Ban-Waled, home of the Warfallah tribe, 160kms (100 miles) south east of Tripoli, Libya, Wednesday March 23, 2011. International airstrikes forced Moammar Gadhafi's tanks to roll back from the western city of Misrata on Wednesday, giving respite to civilians who have endured more than a week of attacks and a punishing blockade.(AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
Air Vice Marshall Greg Bagwell speaking to the media at the Italian Airforce base of Gioia del Colle near Bari in southern Italy from where the RAF are patrolling the no-fly-zone over Libya. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 23, 2011. See PA story POLITICS Libya. Photo credit should read: Chris Ison/PA Wire
An RAF Tornado jet takes off from the Italian Airforce base of Gioia del Colle near Bari in southern Italy from where the RAF are stationed to patrol the no-fly-zone over Libya. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 23, 2011. See PA story POLITICS Libya. Photo credit should read: Chris Ison/PA Wire
The USS Bataan leaves the pier at Naval Station Norfolk on Wednesday, March 23, 2011, in Norfolk, Va. The USS Bataan Amphibious Ready Group is deploying to the Mediterranean Sea to aid international efforts in Libya. The Bataan Amphibious Ready Group is made up of the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan, amphibious transport dock ship USS Mesa Verde and the dock landing ship USS Whidbey Island. The ships will transport Marines, a combat helicopter squadron and a team of surgeons. The group will be relieving units from the USS Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group. (AP Photo/The Virginian-Pilot, Steve Earley) MAGS OUT

Attempts to reach an international consensus on a new command structure for military operations in Libya stalled last night after a row between Turkey and France over Nato’s role in the coalition.

Under a draft plan being discussed by ambassadors in Brussels, Nato commanders would have been guided by a political committee featuring representatives from not just the West but also, crucially, the Arab world.

But the talks broke up after a third day of wrangling after a row between Turkey and France over the precise role Nato would play.

Turkey is keen for the Al

liance to have a more formal role and stated role in any coalition while France is eager on a looser coalition using Nato's military command structures.

“Frankly it's all about political ego,” said one source. Another Nato source said Turkey, a Muslim member of the Alliance with big business interests in Libya, wanted Western coalition countries to finish their air strikes before Nato took over command, so it was not blamed for any accidents.

Further talks to try and resolve out-standing differences are expected to continue today.

Last night government sources suggested other Arab countries were “close” to joining the coalition including Saudi Arabia, which is thought to be planning to contribute to operations financially. Kuwait and Jordan, David Cameron said yesterday, had agreed to provide “logistical support” to the operations.

“What we're still looking at is a Nato-plus command structure similar to the one we have with ISAF in Afghanistan,” said a Government source.

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