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Turkey ready to normalize ties with France

Turkey is ready to normalize relations with France despite continued bilateral tensions over several issues, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Thursday.

He said he had had a “very constructive phone conversation” with French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian.

“We agreed that we should work on a roadmap to normalise the relations,” Cavusoglu told reporters after a meeting with Portuguese Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva in Lisbon.

Portugal has just taken over the EU’s rotating presidency.

“If France is sincere,” Turkey is ready to normalise ties, he stressed.

The language was very different to that used by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last month.

Turkey is embroiled in a series of disputes with France and its EU partners, from tensions in the eastern Mediterranean to the contested Nagorno-Karabakh region.

The spat has risen to new levels in recent months as France has moved to crack down on Islamist extremism after several attacks on its soil.

Erdogan in December said he hoped France would get rid of President Emmanuel Macron as soon as possible.

“Macron is trouble for France. With Macron, France is passing through a very, very dangerous period,”  the Turkish leader said then.

On Thursday Cavusoglu said France and Turkey had been working on “an action plan” to normalize bilateral ties.

He added that relations with the 27-nation European Union as a whole would benefit from a “better atmosphere”.

At their summit last month the EU leaders decided to draw up a list of Turkish targets for sanctions in response to Ankara’s prospecting for gas in Greek and Cypriot waters. 

Topics: Turkey , bilateral tensions , Mevlut Cavusoglu , Jean-Yves Le Drian
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