Turkey and France close friends despite disagreements, Turkish envoy says

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Turkey and France remain close friends despite disagreements and unfavorable circumstances, the Turkish ambassador to France said on Thursday.“We have to admit that we have seen better days in the past. However, the process we are going through today is cyclical. There are, of course, serious disagreements today between our two nations, but it would be too much to talk about it. an irrevocable point between Turkey and France, ”Ismail Hakkı Musa told France 24 television during a live broadcast.

“Whatever the conditions, the Turkish and French nations are close friends,” Musa said.

Noting that dialogue is still possible between the two countries, he added that it was natural to have different ideas.

Musa said France wanted to stand with Greece for its own reasons, but “it would be better not to stand with a party that cannot get along well in the region, and an opposing stance will only do contribute to a rise in tensions ”.

Relations between Turkey and France have deteriorated over the eastern Mediterranean, but the two allies disagree on other major issues, including conflicts in Syria and Libya.

Ankara and Paris have already traded beards after French officials met with leaders of the Syrian branch of the PKK terrorist group, the YPG, in 2018.

The two countries are also at odds in Libya, where Ankara supported the United Nations-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli against a 2019 offensive by coup leader General Khalifa Haftar. France is suspected of supporting Haftar, but officially insists on his neutrality in the conflict.

Turkish officials denounced France’s interference in the conflict in the eastern Mediterranean, given that it has no territory in the region. Commentators have argued that President Emmanuel Macron is trying to distract from his political failures at home.

Macron said last week that Europeans must be “clear and firm, not with Turkey as a nation and people, but with the government of President (Recep Tayyip) Erdoğan, which has taken unacceptable measures”.

In response, Erdoğan warned his French counterpart Macron to “not play” with Turkey, as tensions between the two NATO allies escalate.

Reiterating that in 2004 Turkey submitted a notice of delimitation of its continental shelf to the UN Security Council, of which France is a permanent member, Musa said that the Turkish seismic research vessel Oruç Reis is carrying out activities in this area.

He also recalled that the Greek Cypriot administration signed agreements with Egypt, Lebanon and Israel between 2003 and 2018 and that Greece signed an agreement with Egypt which violates Turkey’s continental shelf.

Musa said these countries also started drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean in 2011 and added that warnings and calls for dialogue from Turkey that such activities cannot be carried out in an area where the demarcation does not is not determined have been left unattended.

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