ANKARA, Turkey – Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that ties between Turkey and Russia are not so weak that they can be broken by the French president, in remarks made during a press conference in Ankara on Monday.
Speaking alongside NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, Cavusoglu responded to reported remarks by French President Emmanuel Macron to the effect that the recent US-led airstrikes on Syrian government targets had driven a wedge between Moscow and Ankara.
“Turkey and Russia have been separated, the French president said, because of France’s airstrike on Syria. This is not true, we may have differences of opinion but our relations with Russia are not so weak that they can be severed by the French president,” said the Turkish foreign minister.
The alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria’s Douma and the subsequent US-led military airstrikes were discussed by both parties during their joint press conference.
Stoltenberg for his part said, “the US, United Kingdom, and France and other countries have pushed again and again for an independent investigation by the UN into what happened in Douma.”
He added: “that has been blocked again and again by Russia.”
“This time it was not possible to get any agreement and therefore they left NATO allies with no other alternative than to act the way they acted,” he concluded.