“Turkey and France are two friendly and allied countries. And they will remain so. “We must make sure that no misunderstanding spoils this friendship with which we are sincerely connected,” Cavusoglu wrote in an article in the French daily L’Opinion.
He said relations between Ankara and Paris went through a period of tension, which is unusual for the two allied countries.
Recalling that contact was established between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and French President Emmanuel Macron, he said this gave them an opportunity to consolidate ties.
Çavusoglu said his visit to Paris reflects this mutual will, referring to his two-day visit to France starting on Sunday.
He said Ankara and Paris now share a growing number of common interests on regional issues, which have recently led the two countries to oppose each other.
Turkey and France share the same priorities on many important topics related to Syria, he said, including the delivery of humanitarian aid, the need to move forward in the political process and the preservation of the country’s territorial integrity.
The Turkish minister said “sincere and fruitful” discussions had taken place with France on Syria, adding: “As for our disagreements over the cooperation of our allies with YPG / PKK terrorists in their fight against Daesh, they can are overcome only when this cooperation finally ceases. “
Stressing that no one can deny that fighting Daesh / ISIS is not the real target of YPG / PKK terrorists, Çavusoglu said the terrorist group intends to divide Syria and form a terror corridor along the borders of NATO member states and Europe.
“Our allies must understand that this terrorist organization is a threat to our national security and that it cannot be ignored,” he said.
The minister said that Turkey and France share some priorities in Libya, such as stability and political unity of the country, support for the Government of National Unity that exercises its power throughout the country and for the reunification of institutions, a lasting ceasefire, as and the fight against terrorism and irregular migration.
“We are open to dialogue on issues of common interest in Libya, the stability of which affects the entire region,” he noted.
Regarding issues in the Eastern Mediterranean, Çavuşo .lu said that disputes between Turkey and Greece are now being addressed through peaceful dialogue within the framework of different mechanisms between the two countries.
Turkey has never had any expansionist ambitions, he said, adding that this dialogue with Greece is another confirmation of this.
“On the Cyprus issue, Turkey will support the efforts of the Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots if they agree on the objectives of the negotiations,” he said.
Recalling the failures of previous initiatives between the two sides of the island, Cavusoglu said Ankara believes that only efforts based on the principles of sovereign equality and equal international status have a chance to reach a solution.
Turkey is not an adversary in the Balkans but plays a complementary role to EU and transatlantic policies for the stability and prosperity of the region, he said.
Regarding Turkey’s procurement of the Russian S-400 air defense system, Cavusoglu said the missiles did not pose a security risk to NATO and that his country was determined to consider the issue on a realistic basis and through a constructive dialogue.
Regarding last year’s allegations of “harassment” of a French naval vessel by the Turkish frigate, he said: “Still within the NATO framework, the evidence we provided confirmed that Turkey had not taken any hostile action against any Allied vessel. , contrary to what has been argued for the frigate Courbet. “
Çavuşo .lu stressed that France could count on Turkey, its second largest ally in NATO, in the fight against terrorism.
Through organizing the repatriation of French terrorists captured on the Syrian border and exchanging information, Turkey is a French ally that has contributed the most in its fight against terrorism, according to the Turkish minister.
“I am pleased that this co-operation has never been hindered and still continues,” he said.
Regarding Turkey-EU relations, Çavuşo .lu said that Ankara hopes that France can become the driving force of rapprochement with Turkey by contributing to developments that will benefit both the bloc and bilateral relations.
Despite its future membership to which it is still fully committed, he said, Turkey is European and will continue to contribute to the development and respect of the European values it shares with France.
“Turkey-EU relations should not be held hostage to the maximalist and nationalist ambitions of some disobedient members. “The EU will become a global power only with Turkey’s membership,” according to Cavusoglu.
He said those topics will be discussed at the upcoming Antalya Diplomacy Forum from June 18-20 in the Turkish resort city of Antalya, where he also invited his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian.
Noting that Turkey’s perception in France has recently been affected by a number of confusions and prejudices, he said: “We reiterate loudly and clearly that Turkey has never had any will to intervene in [the affairs of] France. ”
He stressed that his country’s only priority for Turkish people living in France is to provide them with all the public services they expect from Turkey while promoting their successful integration in France.
Turkish language teachers and imams, or Muslim clerics, also respond to requests from Turkish citizens, he said.
“These imams have also been a considerable asset to the French authorities, especially since no case of radicalization has been observed in their mosques.”
Çavuşo .lu said that Turkey is an essential ally in combating various forms of radicalization and that it will always stand with France to fight radicalization and eradicate Islamophobia, prejudice and discrimination against Muslims.
The Turkish minister said that all the mentioned points confirm the convergence of the priorities of Turkey and France and the benefit that both countries have to act together with the strengthening of mutual trust.
Source: Anadolu Agency / AA