The confrontation is shaping up to be decisive in determining the outcome of the bitter infighting over who should inherit command of the Libyan air campaign from the Americans and could come to a head at a major conference in London next week of the parties involved.
Using incendiary language directed at France in a speech in Istanbul, Erdogan said: “I wish that those who only see oil, gold mines and underground treasures when they look in [Libya’s] direction, would see the region through glasses of conscience from now on.”
President Gül reinforced the Turkish view that France and others were being driven primarily by economic interests. “The aim [of the air campaign] is not the liberation of the Libyan people,” he said. “There are hidden agendas and different interests.”