French President Emmanuel Macron, wearing a protective face mask, visits a site of the pharmaceutical group Sexes, a global leader on the production of active pharmaceutical ingredients, to mobilize innovation and support research on coronovirus disease (COVID-19 , Villeneuve-La-Geren, near Paris, August 28, 2020. REUTERS / Christian Hartmann / Pool
Relations between France and Turkey have soured in recent months over Ankara’s role in NATO, Libya and the Mediterranean Sea.
Macron has called for the European Union to show solidarity with Greece and Cyprus in the dispute over the natural gas reserves of Cyprus and their continental shelves and push for further sanctions at the EU level, although there are differences over the issue .
“When it comes to Mediterranean sovereignty, I must conform to deeds and words,” Macron said at a press conference.
“I can tell you that Turks only consider and respect that. If you say words that are not followed by acts … then what France did this summer was important: it was a red line. The policy is. I did it in Syria, “he referred to French air strikes against suspected chemical weapons sites in Syria.
This week France joined military exercises with Italy, Greece and Cyprus in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, as Ankara sent an Oruch Ris survey vessel to the disputed waters this month after a dispute between Turkey and Greece, a move Athens made Is said to be illegal.
Macron said he was firm, but restrained.
“It was proportional. We did not send the armada, ”he said.
Macron has repeatedly sought EU sanctions against Turkey and two NATO allies attempting to inspect a Turkish vessel as part of an UN arsenal for Libya following a bomb war in June Have demanded to come after.
“I do not believe that Turkey’s strategy in recent years is the strategy of a NATO ally … when you have a country that invades the exclusive economic zones or the sovereignty of two members of the European Union,” he said, Turkey Describe the action as provocative.
If we do not react to attacks on the sovereignty of our own members, what will be our credibility in handling Belarus? ”
Germany has sought a less confrontational approach, attempting to mediate between Ankara and Athens.
On Tuesday, their respective foreign ministers said they wanted to resolve the matter through dialogue with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas. However, each warned that they would continue to protect their rights in the area.
“Germany and other allies are beginning to agree with us that Turkey’s agenda is problematic today,” Macron said. “When six months ago people were saying that France is the only guilty Turkey for things, everyone now sees that there is a problem.”
Reporting by Michelle Rose and Elizabeth Penew; Writing by John Irish; Editing by Chris Reese and Frances Carey