Frenchman Macron reaffirms his solidarity with Greece and declares that Turkey respects actions, not words


French President Emmanuel Macron once again expressed his country’s solidarity with Greece, saying on Friday he had taken a firm stance on Turkey’s actions in the Eastern Mediterranean to set red lines as Ankara respects the actions and not the words.“In matters of Mediterranean sovereignty, I must be consistent in actions and words. I can tell you that the Turks only consider and respect this. If you say words that are not followed by action … What France did this summer was important: it is a red line policy.

Macron, speaking to foreign correspondents in Paris, was referring to the deployment of two French warships and two planes in the Mediterranean to support Greece and Cyprus.

“We have not deployed a fleet in the eastern Mediterranean, but we have simply said that we see the developments (from Turkey) as a challenge,” he explained.

The French president described Turkey’s actions as “provocative” and added: “I don’t think that in recent years the Turkish strategy has been a strategy of a NATO ally… You have a country that questions the exclusive economic zones of two members of European Union. ”

He said his intention was to launch a positive dialogue with Turkey, but under “conditions”, including respect for the sovereignty of our member states.

Germany is gradually coming back

Macron added that other EU states, including Germany which holds the EU presidency this period, are gradually approving France’s approach.

“Germany and other partners have started to agree with us that Turkey’s agenda today is problematic. Six months ago people said that France was the only one to blame Turkey for various things, now everyone sees that there is a problem.

European Union foreign ministers decided on Friday to start talks on imposing sanctions on Turkey in response to the country’s provocative actions in the eastern Mediterranean.

EU Foreign Minister Josep Borrell called on Turkey to refrain from unilateral action, urging Ankara to enter talks with the bloc.

He added that there was an agreement to impose restrictions on Turkey, while German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said the sanctions are to be discussed at an EU summit in September.


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