Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs and Nathalie Loiseau, Minister for European Affairs, held meetings with Turkish Minister of European Affairs Omer Celik. This visit is part of France’s constructive and demanding dialogue with Turkey based on regular exchanges at all levels.
The discussions notably focused on relations between the EU and Turkey. As reaffirmed by President Macron during President Erdogan’s visit to France on January 5, France believes that Turkey, which is an essential partner, should remain firmly anchored in Europe.
The recent escalation of tensions with Cyprus and Greece were also discussed; the French ministers reaffirmed that the peaceful relations that the EU needs with Turkey require the re-establishment of a positive and respectful dialogue with all member states, based on international law. Tensions should also be eased in order to allow the resumption of inter-Cypriot negotiations.
The human rights situation in Turkey was discussed during these meetings. As President Macron underscored on January 5, France is closely monitoring with concern developments with respect to the rule of law and the judicial proceedings that have been launched, notably against academics at the French-Turkish university, Galatasaray University. The French ministers again called for the strengthening of dialogue with the Council of Europe.
With respect to Syria, there is ongoing dialogue in order to make progress toward a political solution and coordinate our efforts in the fight against Daesh, which remains an absolute priority for our national security. In this context, the ministers reaffirmed the French authorities’ concern regarding the Turkish military operations in the Afrin region. They underscored that our common priority must remain the complete eradication of Daesh.