Turkey prevents German forces from searching cargo ship headed to Libya

Turkish seismic research vessel Oruc Reis is escorted by Turkish Navy ships as it sets sail in the Mediterranean Sea, off Antalya, Turkey, on August 10, 2020. (Reuters)

Turkey prevented German forces belonging to a European Union military mission carrying out a full search of a Turkish cargo ship that they suspected of taking weapons to Libya, both countries confirmed on Monday.

Soldiers from the frigate Hamburg boarded the Turkish freighter, the Rosaline A, overnight, but had to abandon checks and withdraw after Turkey protested to the EU mission, the German defense ministry said.

For all the latest headlines follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

The frigate was operating in the Mediterranean as part of the EU’s Irini mission, which aims to stop arms reaching the warring factions in Libya.

“By the time the soldiers left the ship, they had not found anything suspicious,” a German defense ministry spokesman said.

Turkish security sources said the Rosalina-A was carrying various materials such as food and paint, and that the search team had violated international law by not waiting for permission from Turkey.

It said the soldiers had found nothing despite spending the entire night opening containers on the ship.

“Following the search that lasted until the early hours of the morning, the soldiers understood that there was nothing on the ship apart from humanitarian aid, foods such as biscuits, and paint materials, and left the ship,” a source said.

Confirming a report in the news magazine Der Spiegel, the German spokesman said the Hamburg had intercepted the Rosaline A about 200 km (125 miles) north of the Libyan city of Benghazi on Sunday night.

He said the Hamburg had followed standard procedure by waiting four hours for approval from the flag country, and then boarding. Later, once the objection arrived, they withdrew.

“All procedures were followed correctly,” a German foreign ministry spokeswoman said.

The 16,000-ton container ship left the Turkish port of Gemlik near Bursa last week, and was last seen off Athens, heading southwest towards Libya, according to Refinitiv Eikon
data.

Read more:

Turkey will deploy troops to Nagorno-Karabakh to supervise ceasefire alongside Russia

Turkey extends seismic survey work in eastern Mediterranean amid tensions with Greece

SHOW MORE
Last Update: Monday, 23 November 2020 KSA 14:46 - GMT 11:46
Top