Turkey is ready to “normalize” its relations with France despite strong tensions between the two countries over several issues, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cavusoglu said Thursday in Lisbon, referring to a “road map” drawn with Paris.
“If France is sincere, Turkey is ready to normalize its relationship with France,” he said at a press conference after a meeting with his Portuguese counterpart, Augusto Santos Silva, whose country has just taken the rotating president of the Council of the European Union.
Relations between Turkey and France have gradually deteriorated since last year, due in particular to disagreements over Syria, Libya, the eastern Mediterranean and more recently the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia in Nagorno-Karabakh.
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“A constructive discussion”
But tensions were heightened in October when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan questioned the “sanity” of French President Emmanuel Macron, accusing him of waging a “campaign of hatred” against Islam for defending the law. for caricaturing the Prophet Muhammad, and for his speech against Islamist “separatism” in France.
Even at the beginning of December, Erdogan had expressed the hope that France would “get rid of Macron as soon as possible”. “In the end, we had a constructive telephone discussion, with my counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian, and we agreed to work on a roadmap to standardize our relations,” Mevlüt Cavusoglu said Thursday.
The head of Turkish diplomacy also estimated that the relationship of his country with the whole of the EU could benefit from a “better atmosphere” since the last European summit in December, when the 27 decided to adopt targeted sanctions against Turkey for its activities in the Eastern Mediterranean.