Macron 'ignores' Turkish contribution for strong Europe
French President Emmanuel Macron ignores the vital contributions of Turkey for a strong Europe, Turkey's Foreign Ministry spokesman said Thursday.
Huseyin Muftuoglu's remarks came in response to a speech Macron delivered on Tuesday regarding his reflections and recommendations on the future of the EU, in which he said Balkan countries should not "turn their backs on Europe or turn to Russia or Turkey, or to authoritarian powers who do not defend our values".
"President Macron made an unfortunate statement with reference to the Balkans, while ignoring the contributions of Turkey as a vital element for a strong Europe," Muftuoglu said in a written statement.
The spokesman noted that "it is not easy to know and understand the Balkans", and "the approach that considers the region as a field of competition belongs to those who are not aware of the realities of the region".
"Essentially, this wrong approach underlies the problems experienced in the Balkans," he said.
"We recommend to those who are interested in learning the constructive role of our country, including its contribution to democratic processes in the Balkans, to read the studies on the contributions of Turkey to the political and economic stability of the region, not the reports of certain circles recently trying to defame Turkey's endeavors in the Balkans based on mutual cooperation," he added.