Turkey a 'vital' EU partner, says French President Macron
French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday said Turkey remains a "vital partner" for Europe.
Macron was speaking to Greek newspaper Kathimerini ahead of his arrival in Athens for a two-day official visit.
Speaking mostly about the Greek economic crisis, Macron said he was optimistic about the country's future and new opportunities which would tackle joblessness.
Greece still has a huge unemployment rate and continues to receive bailout funding from other European countries.
"The positive signs are multiplying; growth is returning, investments are growing, unemployment is dropping," Macron insisted.
Regarding Turkey, the French leader stated it was important not to form a split with Ankara.
Tensions between Turkey and some EU countries, particularly Germany, have risen in recent months. The German Chancellor Angela Merkel earlier this week said she would push other EU countries to review Turkey's accession process at a European Council meeting scheduled for October.
However, Macron said he wanted to avoid a split because of Turkey's partnership "in many crises we all face, notably the immigration challenge and the terrorist threat".
Concerning the EU-Turkey refugee deal, Macron said that it had brought results and reduced a lot of pressure on Greece which was at the forefront of the migration crisis.