Turkish FM calls Macron’s remarks on Türkiye ‘unfortunate’


French President Emmanuel Macron’s statements in Algeria about Türkiye were “unfortunate,” Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Sept. 5.

“I would like to say frankly that Mr. Macron’s statements were extremely unfortunate. It’s in all of our interests that we talk to each other and not about each other,” he said at a joint press conference with his French counterpart, Catherine Colonna.

“Türkiye comes among the top countries that the world trusts. Therefore, it is not right to see Türkiye as a competitor,” he added.

Ankara does not see any country in Africa or elsewhere as a competitor and wants to cooperate with everyone, the minister said.

He called on France to cooperate in the African continent as well. “Let’s help African countries develop. There has been a dialogue between our esteemed presidents, which has been getting better and better for the last two years. It’s in all of our interests that we talk to each other and not about each other,” Çavuşoğlu said.

Last month, Macron visited Algeria and reportedly said, “In Turkey, Russia and China, there are networks of activism, neo-colonial and imperialist agendas, and anti-France propaganda at hand.”

Çavuşoğlu said that in their meeting with the French minister, they agreed to continue bilateral cooperation against regional and global challenges.

“We especially evaluated the Ukraine issue. It is clear that we and France do not agree on every issue. But this does not prevent us from having a dialogue and working together. We have seen that we can reduce our differences of opinion through dialogue,” he stated.

In the meeting, Ankara also conveyed its expectations in the fight against terrorism, he said and added, “We thank France for the measures taken in France against PKK and DHKP-C elements. But we also have requests for both extradition and additional measures, and we hope that they will be met.”

Colonna met her Turkish counterpart before flying to Athens to address a new spike in tensions between the two NATO neighbors. “We have special ties with Greece,” Colonna said for her part.

“But above all, we want the two neighbors and [NATO] allies to settle any difference they may have through dialogue,” she added.

Elaborating on the EU sanctions against Russia over the Ukrainian crisis, Colonna said she would discuss the importance of foreign powers abiding by the sanctions during a private dinner with Çavuşoğlu later on Sept. 5.

“We have the same goal,” Colonna said. “The sanctions policy we are pursuing has one objective and that is to limit the Russian war effort. The sanctions system deprives Russia’s war effort. We will talk about that.”__Daily Hurriyet