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A Turkish cargo ship bound for Misrata boarded by the Latouche Tréville. In the calm

(B2) The MV Medkon Sinop, a freighter flying the Panamanian flag, and belonging to the Turkish company Medkon lines, was boarded off the coast of Libya as part of the EUNAVFOR Med Irini operation

The Medkon Sinop in the background, controlled by the French frigate Latouche-Tréville (credit: EUNAVFOR Med Irini)

The guys from Latouche-Tréville on board

The check took place on Tuesday (October 20) at 16:30 p.m. 135 nautical miles north of Benghazi (Libya). THE MV Medkon Sinop who had left Ambarli, in Turkey, on October 18 and was heading for Misrata in Libya was boarded in international waters by French soldiers from the Latouche-Tréville frigate. These were acting within the framework of the EUNAVFOR Med Irini operation, and a mandate from the United Nations Security Council, in order to verify the proper application of the arms embargo on Libya.

Nothing suspicious on board

The boarding party has examined the documents available on board » and has « inspected the cargo which was in containers. On this " a random basis ". " Nothing suspicious was found and the boarding party returned to their unit, allowing the ship to continue on its way. », According to Irini's communications officer.

In the calm

« The procedure went smoothly and in an atmosphere of collaboration between the captain and the crew “, says one at the HQ of Irini in Rome. " All the precautions recommended for Covid-19 were also observed during the boarding. »

Comment: the return to normal between French and Turkish?

These details are not superfluous. We remember, in fact, that the last attempt to intercept a Turkish ship (the Circin) suspected of arms trafficking to Libya had turned into diplomatic mayhem. The Turkish navy had firmly and strongly opposed the interception first by a Greek ship, then by an Italian ship and finally a French ship (Read: The Cirkin was not at its first attempt. A French ship illuminated by radar). This caused a climbing the towers diplomatically. This rather unusual way of doing things between allies has left its mark, even if everyone in NATO today intends to turn the page (article to follow).

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).