France sends minister to attend Erdoğan’s inauguration

France sends minister to attend Erdoğan’s inauguration

France sends minister to attend Erdoğan’s inauguration

Unlike many other prominent European countries, France sent a senior government member to attend the inauguration of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on late July 9.

Jacques Mézard, French minister for the cohesion of territories, represented French President Emmanuel Macron at the inauguration ceremony and the dinner held at the presidential compound, diplomatic sources told Hürriyet Daily News on July 10.

The French minister greeted Erdoğan and met with Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, as well as former European Union Minister Ömer Çelik on the sidelines of the dinner. Mézard had previously been a senator and the chairman of the Turkey-France Parliamentary Friendship Group.

Many other EU countries have been represented by their heads of diplomatic missions, while the EU deployed Dimitris Avramopoulos, Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship.

Germany was represented by former Prime Minister Gerhard Schröder, who has a special relationship with Erdoğan. A spokesman of the German Foreign Ministry confirmed that Schröder represented the German government at the inauguration and that was nothing unusual for German governmental customs.

In the meantime, Iranian Industry, Mining and Trade Minister Mohammed Shariatmadari represented the Iranian government at the inauguration.

Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) President Nechirvan Barzani was among the participants of the inauguration, sources stressed. Barzani’s visit marked a first after the KRG’s attempt to hold an independence referendum in late September 2017.

A total of 22 presidents and more than 23 heads of governments and ministers flocked to the Turkish capital to attend Erdoğan’s swearing-in ceremony.