Jean-Yves le Drian, Minister of Foreign Affairs, welcomed a “kind of verbal ceasefire” between Paris and Ankara, whose relationship has turned out to be stormy recently. A lasting lull between the two allies within NATO?
Asked this June 18 on BFMTV and RMC, the French Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian was delighted with a “phase of convalescence” of diplomatic relations between Paris and Ankara.
“There is a kind of verbal ceasefire. It’s already not bad but it is not enough “, he declared during his interview, specifying nevertheless:” The verbal ceasefire, that does not mean acts and we wait for it. Turkey acts on sensitive subjects. ”
“We will see if President Erdogan has changed more than in words, if he has changed in actions,” continued Jean-Yves Le Drian.
Paris welcomes “a peaceful climate” with Ankara
In the context of particularly tense relations between the two countries and their respective leaders, Emmanuel Macron and Recep Tayyip Erdogan met on June 14 in Brussels as part of a NATO Summit.
According to Jean-Yves Le Drian, the two allied countries are particularly committed to “working together” on issues such as Libya and Syria. The French minister hailed a “peaceful climate” and underlined that the members of the Atlantic Alliance had also committed, during this meeting, to “speak” together in the event of “potential military rivalries”. “It is a great novelty and I find that it is a step forward”, noted the Minister.
“We are going to start working with the Turks on the Libyan question, in particular on the militias because they are all the same supporters of the spread of militias in Libya”, underlined Jean-Yves Le Drian.
The points of friction between Paris and Ankara are numerous, as evidenced for example, beyond the Libyan case, the incident that occurred in June 2020 in the Mediterranean between Turkish and French vessels. France then denounced an “extremely aggressive” maneuver on the part of Turkish frigates in the Mediterranean.
Last October, Recep Tayyip Erdogan also questioned the “mental health” of Emmanuel Macron, accusing him of leading a “campaign of hatred” against Islam, because he had defended the right to caricature the prophet Muhammad and for his speech against Islamist “separatism” in France.