BEIRUT, LEBANON (11:30 P.M.) – Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar responded to what he described as the threats of the French President, Emmanuel Macron, against Ankara, regarding the tension in the eastern Mediterranean.
The Turkish Defense Minister said in a statement carried by the state-owned Anadolu News Agency: “Macron’s statements are greater than his size and exceed his limits.”
Akar continued, saying: “These statements aim to sow discord among us, but they will not find deaf ears on our people.”
The Turkish Defense Minister later sent a message to Greece, in which he said: “We recommend our neighbor Greece not to be a tool for some countries to exploit to achieve their goals.”
He continued by saying, “Some quarters’ commitment to silence is sufficient to reduce tension in the eastern Mediterranean.”
On Thursday, French President Emmanuel Macron confirmed that European countries will try to work to reach a unified policy on Turkey, indicating the need to take a strict approach against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in light of the escalation of tension in the eastern Mediterranean.
Macron said during a press conference on the southern island of Corsica that “work will be done to reach a unified European policy on Turkey,” adding that there is a desire to “avoid escalation.”
The French President also stressed, in light of tension with Ankara, that his goal “is to reactivate an effective dialogue with Turkey,” stressing “the need for Europeans to follow a serious and strict approach with Erdogan.”
In his speech, he pointed out that “Turkey is no longer a partner in the eastern Mediterranean region.”
These developments come amid escalating tension in the eastern Mediterranean between Turkey and Greece, two members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), over the dispute over each other’s rights to potential oil and gas resources in the region, as a result of the difference in determining the extent of each other’s continental shelf.
Sources: Anadolu, Sputnik