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France's Macron Reaffirms Solidarity with Greece, Says Turkey Respects Actions Not Words

French President Emmanuel Macron once more expressed his country’s solidarity with Greece saying on Friday that he had taken a tough stance with regard to Turkey’s actions in the Eastern Mediterranean.
“When it comes to Mediterranean sovereignty, I have to be consistent in deeds and words. I can tell you that the Turks only consider and respect that. If you say words that are not followed by acts … What France did this summer was important: it’s a red line policy.”
Macron, in solidarity with Greece and Cyprus, deployed two French warships and two aircrafts to the Mediterranean.
“We did not deploy a fleet in the eastern Mediterranean, but we simply said that we consider the developments (from Turkey) to be a challenge,” he explained.
The French President described Turkey’s actions as “provocative” and added: “I do not think that in recent years the Turkish strategy is a strategy of an ally in NATO…You have a country that is questioning the exclusive economic zones of two members of the European Union.”
He said that his intention is to kick-start a positive dialogue with Turkey but under “conditions,” including the respect for the sovereignty of our member states.
Germany is gradually coming round
Macron added that other EU states, including Germany which holds the presidency of the EU this period, are gradually endorsing France’s approach.
“Germany and other partners have begun to agree with us that Turkey’s agenda is problematic today. 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 begin discussions on imposing sanctions on Turkey in response to the country’s provocative actions in the eastern Mediterranean.
EU Minister for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell called on Turkey to abstain from unilateral actions, urging Ankara to engage in talks with the bloc.
He added that there is an agreement to impose restrictions against Turkey, while German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas stated that the sanctions must be discussed during an EU summit in September.

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