In response to reporters' questions concerning a newspaper report that alleged Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had rejected French President Nicolas Sarkozy's invitation to the Libya meeting in Paris, Davutoğlu over the weekend refuted these claims from Kosovo's capital, Pristina.
“There is no final decision on the issue. We will assess the situation according to the level of attendance and the prime minister's schedule for Eid al-Fitr,” Davutoğlu stated, noting that officials would arrive at a decision in the coming days. He also added that Turkey was interested in any meeting concerning the future of Libya and refuted claims that Turkey's distant stance stemmed from Sarkozy's leadership, saying there was no rivalry between Turkey and any other country on the matter.
Meanwhile, diplomatic sources pointed to a difference of opinion between France and the US on the level of attendance at the Libya summit. Speculation about the reason behind Sarkozy's insistence on a leader's level summit in Paris revolves around the president's need for a better reputation on the eve of elections in France. However, the US allegedly indicated that the attendance of state leaders was not necessarily needed for the summit, showing signs that US President Barack Obama might not be attending the Paris session.
According to the same sources, Turkey was also critical of the timing of the Paris meeting. Indicating the possible reaction the meeting would have drawn if it had coincided with Christmas, the sources acknowledged the move from Paris to schedule the summit during Eid al-Fitr displayed disrespect for Muslim communities, which consider the Eid a holy feast for those of the Islamic faith.