German frigate Hamburg boarding Turkish ship heading for Libya

Since the Turkish intervention in Libya and especially the deployment of the flotilla centered around the mining exploration vessel Orus Reis in the Eastern Mediterranean, Berlin had taken part of a position of appeasement and conciliation with Ankara, a posture sometimes badly accepted in Greece as in France. But it seems that, now, the German authorities have chosen to show more firmness vis-à-vis Turkey. Indeed, the German frigate Hamburg, participating in the European operation Irini aimed at preventing the transfer of weapons and combatants to Libya, has intercepted the 16.000 ton container ship Roselina-A flying the Turkish flag 200 km from the Libyan coast, to carry out an inspection.

The Turkish authorities, like the country's press, immediately reacted by banning the inspection of the ship, a legal position in the law of the sea, except to acquire extraterritorial rights like the United States. The German inspection team then had to leave the ship, specifying that the searches, within the allotted time, had not been able to highlight any illegal cargo. Since then, the two countries have been competing in communiques to highlight their respective positions, and the legality of the action taken.

Operation Irini led by the European Union aims to intercept transfers of arms and combatants in Libya in accordance with the embargo decreed by the United Nations.

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