French overseas minister: Turkey and France have a ‘verbal cease-fire’

France’s high diplomat mentioned there’s a “verbal cease-fire” between France and Turkey in an interview with French tv Friday. He added that there’s nonetheless work to be executed to bridge the divide between the 2 international locations on regional points following a gathering between their heads of state. 

“There is some sort of verbal cease-fire,” Jean-Yves Le Drian instructed BFM TV. “The verbal cease-fire doesn’t mean action, and we’re waiting for actions to be taken from Turkey on sensitive issues, be it in the eastern Mediterranean, and especially in Libya and Syria.” 

Le Drian was addressing a longstanding feud between Turkey and France, as the 2 states disagree on a number of points. In the jap Mediterranean, Turkey desires to drill for vitality in waters claimed by Greece and Cyprus, and France backs the latter two within the dispute. In Libya, Turkey supported the Government of National Accord within the civil conflict that ended final 12 months, whereas France was extra supportive of the Libyan National Army rebels. France has since reopened its embassy and established relations with Libya’s unity authorities. France can be essential of Turkey’s actions in Syria, the place Ankara helps Syrian insurgent forces towards Kurdish forces.

The row has led to a number of escalations between the 2 international locations previously 12 months. In June 2020, France accused the Turkish navy of harassing a French warship within the Mediterranean Sea. In October, French President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused French President Emmanuel Macron of Islamophobia. The disagreement associated to feedback Macron made about extremism following the homicide of a French trainer who confirmed a picture of the Prophet Muhammad in his classroom. In November, France banned the Turkish ultranationalist Gray Wolves group. 

Relations could also be enhancing. Erdogan and Macron met on the NATO summit on Monday in what Macron described as a “peaceful atmosphere.” The two mentioned the conditions in Libya and Syria, in addition to Macron’s views on Islam, based on the Turkish state’s Anadolu Agency. 

Le Drian mentioned France will work with Turkey on the Libya problem, mentioning the preponderance of militias within the nation. He additionally famous each “conflicting” and “shared interests” in Syria. Le Drian added that the jap Mediterranean dispute stays a “question.” It is as much as Erdogan on whether or not the softer rhetoric between the 2 international locations will result in fixing any points, the French overseas minister mentioned.

“All this awaits us,” mentioned Le Drian. “We will see if President Erdogan has changed more than in words.” 

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