Jean-Yves le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, will conduct a visit to Ankara from September 14 to 15. He will hold meetings with his Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu, as well as with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım. He will also meet with civil society representatives as well as the leader of the main opposition party, Kemal Kilicdaroglu.
This visit is taking place within the framework of the rigorous and constructive dialogue that we maintain with Turkey.
The discussions will focus on key international and regional issues, which we review with Turkey on an ongoing basis. Jean-Yves Le Drian will take stock, together with his interlocutors, of the Syrian conflict, in preparation for the post-Daesh period and with a view toward finding a political solution. Our cooperation in the area of counter-terrorism – which has achieved considerable results over the last few years, notably with respect to the return of French foreign fighters – will be included on the agenda. The minister will also discuss climate issues and the ratification of the Paris Agreement by Turkey.
Relations between the EU and Turkey will be discussed in each of the meetings. Jean-Yves Le Drian will reaffirm that France considers the relationship between the EU and Turkey to be essential for both parties, and that a split is not desirable. The partnership between the EU and Turkey is bearing fruit, especially in the area of migration. We would therefore like to see the swift resumption of calm and respectful dialogue.
Jean-Yves Le Drian will also meet with the Turkish authorities and civil society representatives to discuss human rights and fundamental freedoms.
The minister for Europe and foreign affairs will reaffirm the French authorities’ determination to secure the return to France of our compatriot Loup Bureau. He will urge each of his interlocutors to ensure his release. The French authorities are fully committed to securing his release, as reflected by the telephone calls made by President Macron to his Turkish counterpart regarding this issue. Our embassy is in regular contact with the Turkish authorities and is notably working to secure an improvement in Loup Bureau’s detention conditions. To that end, a second consular visit took place on September 6. Our consul also provided him with news of his family and gave him some books. His family is being regularly informed about developments.
Lastly, the discussions will focus on bilateral issues. France and Turkey enjoy close economic ties: French exports amount to €7 billion, making Turkey our 11th largest trading partner (the 3rd largest outside the EU) while French imports from Turkey make it its 6th largest market. Jean-Yves Le Drian will discuss the ongoing challenges facing our companies in terms of exports and investment, while, in spite of the turnaround in the Turkish economy that has been evident since the beginning of the year, the business climate is deteriorating.