The European Union should pursue ‘strategic partnerships’ with Turkey and Russia in taking responsibility for its own defense and reducing its reliance on the U.S., French President Emmanuel Macron said Thursday.
Speaking at a joint press conference in Helsinki alongside Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, Macron said "our interest with Turkey as well as with Russia is to have a strategic partnership which enables to stabilize the relationship with the European Union in the long term".
The French leader added that "we must bring up to date our relationship with Russia further to the end of the Cold War," saying old habits have led "to mistakes or misunderstanding in the last two decades".
"I think that on matters like cybersecurity, defense, strategic relationships, we could envisage the outlines of a new relationship between Russia and the EU which is coherent with the direction Europe is headed in," Macron said.
"Stability in the whole region is in our interest."
France says EU needs strategic relationship with Turkey, Russia on defense
The European Union needs a strategic relationship with Turkey, including in defence matters, and should modernise its post-Cold War relations with Russia, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday.Macron is a strong advocate for a Europe that is able to defend its strategic interests and financial independence and respond to new global economic and defence situation brought on by Donald Trump's presidency in the United States.He has sought to improve relations with Russia's President Vladimir Putin, although his efforts have been complicated by allegations of Russian meddling in elections from the United States to France and a nerve agent attack in Britain.Attacks against Turkey’s sovereignty will never deter us from our goals: Erdoğan"It is in our interest for the EU to have a strategic relationship with Turkey as well as with Russia that brings stability, that will in the long term and bring more strength and coherency," Macron said in a news conference in Helsinki alongside Finnish President Sauli Niinisto.He said the EU's relations with Russia needed to be "brought up to date", using the Italian word "aggiornamento"."I think that on matters like cybersecurity, defence, strategic relationships, we could envisage the outlines of a new relationship between Russia and the EU which is coherent with the direction Europe is headed in," Macron said."Stability in the whole region is in our interest."Turkish, Russian ministers discuss regional securityTurkey's Victory Day tells world 'we are here to stay’
French leader slammed for his remarks on Turkey
Turkey's ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party on Wednesday criticized French President Emmanuel Macron for his remarks targeting Turkey and its EU membership process."We want to hear a commonsense statement from Macron on Turkey and we would also like to remind Macron how inconvenient it is to mix Islam and terror," said party spokesman Ömer Çelik, speaking at a news conference following the AK Party's central executive board meeting.During the Ambassadors Conference in Paris on Monday, Macron said “to fight Islamist terrorism, we created a new law in France”.He also questioned Turkey's EU membership.Turkey ‘deeply regrets’ Macron remarks on its accession to EU"Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has a pan-Islamic project that is contrary to our European values.”Macron said there was a need to build a strategic partnership with Turkey instead of granting it EU membership."We need to build a strategic partnership with Russia and Turkey because they are two important powers for our collective security; they must be tied to Europe," he said."President Erdoğan's Turkey is not President Mustafa Kemal Ataturk's Turkey anymore," he added.Referring to a plan by Dutch anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders to hold a Prophet Muhammad cartoon competition, Çelik said "such provocative attacks cause these racists and fascists to gain a place in European politics”."Europe’s ‘Daesh’ are its far-right parties…There is no difference between the leaders of the Daesh terrorist group and fascists like Dutch far-right leader Wilders."Therefore, if they are taking measures against Daesh, they must take such measures against these racists. This is not something to be evaluated in the context of freedom of thought," he said.Wilders' anti-Islam Party for Freedom had previously called for the Quran to be banned.
France's Macron says he is 'main opponent' to anti-immigrants Orban, Salvini
French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday billed himself as the main opponent to hard-right, anti-immigration parties in Europe, in a response to criticism from Italy's Matteo Salvini and Hungary's Viktor Orban.Hungary's prime minister and Italy's deputy prime minister on Tuesday criticised Macron and said they would work together before 2019 elections for the European Union's Parliament to oppose what they saw as a pro-migration group of countries led by the French president.Salvini and Orban have both taken a hard line against immigration and said they represented an opposing group of countries.Turkey ‘deeply regrets’ Macron remarks on its accession to EU"It is clear that today a strong opposition is building up between nationalists and progressives and I will yield nothing to nationalists and those who advocate hate speech," Macron responded, when asked about Salvini's and Orban's comments."So if they wanted to see me as their main opponent, they were right to do so," Macron, a pro-European leader who wants to further integrate the EU, told journalists during a visit to Denmark.Salvini's League is allied to Marine Le Pen's far-right party while Orban is part of the centre-right European People's Party. Macron says Assad remaining in power would be 'fatal error'
Macron has yet to talk to Hulot about his resignation
French President Emmanuel Macron has not spoken to Nicolas Hulot about his resignation as environment minister, the presidency said on Tuesday, taking note of the former green activist's surprise announcement."The job of minister, especially for those coming from civil society, is at the same time exhilarating and frustrating," a presidential adviser told Reuters."We perfectly understand that there should be a form of frustration, even exhaustion, which doesn't take away the quality of the work accomplished," the adviser said.The official said Hulot's replacement had not been decided yet. French environment minister quits, citing lack of policy progressMacron says Assad remaining in power would be 'fatal error'