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Erdogan’s ambitions will strain EU ties further

Friday, July 10, 2020


Rising tensions over the conflict in Libya have produced a severe crisis in French-Turkish ties and threaten to exacerbate strains in Ankara’s relations with the EU. By placing two NATO members at loggerheads, they also risks damaging the alliance's cohesiveness and it ability to plan and implement future operations.


  • Tensions over Libya and maritime borders will further sour Turkish-EU ties and complicate attempts to reinvigorate the 2016 refugee deal.
  • Such differences will ensure that Turkey’s EU accession process in effect remains moribund.
  • Turkey will react furiously to additional sanctions but its scope to retaliate is limited by the EU’s importance to its foreign trade.
  • Further tensions with Russia will derail Erdogan’s hopes of defence industry collaboration to counterbalance cooperation with the West.
  • Distance and deployments in Syria, northern Iraq and at home limit Ankara’s ability to send large forces to Libya if conflict escalates.
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