Turkey, France to hold political consultations
Political consultations will be held between Turkey and France under the leaderships of Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Faruk Kaymakcı and French Foreign Ministry Secretary-General Maurice Gourdault-Montagne in Paris on May 22, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a written statement.
Bilateral relations, Turkey’s EU accession process and regional developments will be discussed during the consultations, it said.
Within the framework of his visit to Paris, Kaymakcı will meet the presidents and members of the Committees for European Affairs of the French Senate and National Assembly as well as the Committee of Foreign Affairs, Defense and Armed Forces of the Senate, said the ministry.
Kaymakcı will also meet the representatives of the French Business Confederation (MEDEF) and the Turkish community, which constitutes one of the most important dimensions of Turkey’s relations with France.
Ties between Ankara and Paris have recently strained over disagreements on several bilateral and regional issues.
Turkey’s Foreign Ministry on May 7 rejected a French statement on Ankara-led drilling activities in its own continental shelf in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, as France joined the international chorus that expressed concerns as Turkey launched drilling for oil and gas in the region.
On May 8, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu also called on France to review its ties with the YPG, which Ankara considers as the Syrian branch of the illegal PKK. In April, French President Emmanuel Macron hosted representatives of the YPG assuring them of France’s support in the fight against ISIL.
The last spat between the two countries was on Turkey’s demand to open schools in France backed by its embassy. Ankara carries on its efforts with the French administration for the schools in accordance with the French education system within the framework of reciprocity with these schools in Turkey, a Foreign Ministry statement said on May 11 in reaction to remarks by a French minister.
French Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer had stated that France does not embrace the idea of Turkey opening high schools in France because the Turkish government “wants to carry its ideology to France through these schools.”