French President Emmanuel Macron is adding fuel to the fire in the Eastern Mediterranean and making it harder to solve problems, said the Turkish defense minister on Friday.
In an exclusive interview with Britain’s Channel 4 News, Hulusi Akar said the French president is trying to take on the role of Napoleon who died two centuries ago but Macron is not strong enough for this.
On NATO’s meditation efforts, Akar said although Greece is reluctant and slowing down the solution of the Eastern Mediterranean issue with some preconditions, Turkey supports holding these meetings.
In regard to the EU attitude to the issue, he said the EU does not contribute to the solution and has become a part of the deadlock.
He said the EU does not have any authority to set or change rules or draw borders in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Tensions have recently escalated over the issue of energy exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Greece has disputed Turkey’s energy exploration in the region, trying to box in Turkish maritime territory based on small islands near the Turkish coast.
Turkey — the country with the longest coastline on the Mediterranean — has sent out drill ships, with military escort, to explore for energy on its continental shelf, saying that both Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus have rights in the region.
To reduce tensions, Turkey has called for dialogue to ensure the fair sharing of the region’s resources.
Meanwhile, Turkish and Greek military delegations have held technical meetings at NATO headquarters to discuss ways to reduce the risk of an incident amid rising tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean.
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