Turkey’s Muslim Brotherhood regime continues its defiance to the rules-based international order by blocking the inspection of a Turkish cargo ship headed towards Libya's western port city of Misrata (200 km east of Tripoli).
This morning, the German weekly Der Spiegel confirmed that the Erdogan regime had prevented a German marine squad from inspecting a Turkish flagged ship identified as ‘MV Roseline A’ which they had stopped yesterday about some 200 kilometres off the Libyan coast over suspicions of violating the UN arms embargo on Libya.
Video footage published by the Turkish state media outlet TRT Haber depicted a helicopter taking off from Frigate Hamburg, one of the German vessels enforcing the UN arms embargo on Libya as part of EU’s Operation Irini, and dropping troops aboard the Turkish vessel. Der Spiegel said that the German troops mounted the vessel and gained access to its control room before leaving afterwards without inspection following Turkey's refusal to allow the the inspection mission.
French daily Le Figaro quoted a statement by the Turkish regime condemning the interception operation as an “unexplained provocation”, claiming that the vessel was carrying “humanitarian and food supplies to Misrata”.
Der Spiegel’s report received wide coverage in Libya and beyond. However, at 16:13 Libya time this afternoon, the official Twitter account of Operation Irini shared the following statement without commenting on Der Spiegel's report:
“Yesterday afternoon, November 22, Operation IRINI boarded and inspected the Merchant Vessel (MV) ROSELINE A, a Turkish-flagged general Cargo vessel – in application of the United Nation Security Council’s Resolutions 2292 (2016) and 2526 (2020) – concerning the arms embargo on Libya. The vessel departed from Yarimca (Turkey) on 20 November and directed to Misrata (Libya).
In accordance with relevant UN Security Council resolutions, Operation IRINI made good faith efforts to seek the consent of the flag State. Having received no answer from the flag State, the team of the German Frigate Hamburg boarded the vessel in international waters, approximately 160 nautical miles north of the port of Benghazi. The Master of the ships and its crew assumed a cooperative attitude towards the boarding team.
When the flag State made it clear that it denied the permission to inspect the vessel, Operation IRINI suspended the activities during which no evidence of illicit material was found on board and the vessel was cleared to pursue its route.
All recommended COVID-19 precautions were observed during the activity. This is the fifth boarding activity since the start of the operation. This activity in international waters is part of the Operation’s mandate.”