Turkish Foreign Ministry responds to Macron on Balkans

Turkish Foreign Ministry responds to Macron on Balkans

ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
Turkish Foreign Ministry responds to Macron on Balkans

The Turkish Foreign Ministry said on April 18 that the French president’s statement on the Balkans is “not constructive.”

In a written statement, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hami Aksoy responded to a question regarding the remarks made by French President Emmanuel Macron about Turkey and the Balkans during a speech at the European Parliament on April 17.

Aksoy said Macron has “used expressions in the European Parliament about the Balkans being an area of rivalry for the EU, Turkey, and the Russian Federation,” similar to a speech he made last year.

“This understanding that views the Balkans as a sphere of influence is not constructive,” Aksoy said.

“Being a Balkan country as well, Turkey’s aim and priority in the region today, as it has been in the past, is the maintenance and strengthening of peace, stability, and sustainable development,” he said.

“With this objective, we continue to support membership of all countries in the region to European and Euro-Atlantic institutions,” said Aksoy.

The spokesperson said Turkey hopes France will contribute at least as much as Turkey to integration efforts of Turkey’s friends in the Balkans to the EU and NATO.

“Within this framework, we advise France to try to better understand the contribution efforts of Turkey for the stability of the Balkans,” he said.