ADDS FRENCH PRESIDENT MACRON'S REMARKS ON IRAN
By Busra Nur Bilgic Cakmak
ANKARA (AA) - Europe is ready for dialogue with Turkey on the issue of the Eastern Mediterranean, said French President Emmanuel Macron Tuesday.
“We respect Turkey. We are ready for dialogue. But we expect Turkey to respect European sovereignty, international law, and to provide clarification about its actions in Libya and in Syria,” said Macron, addressing the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly, held virtually this year due to the pandemic.
Macron said a commitment to effective, clear dialogue in the Eastern Mediterranean is necessary “to avoid a new space of confrontation which would jeopardize international law.”
“What we need is respect for international law and cooperation, respect between allies,” he added.
Tensions have recently escalated over the issue of energy exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Greece, with the support of France, 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 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 fair sharing of the region’s resources.
Turkey and France have also been at loggerheads over Libya, with Ankara supporting the country’s UN-recognized legitimate government based in Tripoli, while Paris has supported the militia forces of warlord Khalifa Haftar.
- US and Iran nuclear deal
Speaking on the US attempt to re-impose sanctions on Iran, despite Washington having withdrawn from the Iran nuclear deal, President Macron issued a firm rejection.
“We will not compromise on the activation of a mechanism which the United States and their own leader in exiting the agreement was not able to activate,” said Macron.
“That would be to undermine the Security Council and the integrity of its decisions and would further exacerbate tensions in the region,” he added.
Macron said: “France and its German and British partners will maintain its requirement that the agreement be fully implemented and will not accept Iran's breaches of this agreement.”
“It is up to us to fulfill the 2015 [nuclear] agreement,” he said, adding that the partners must “make sure that Iran never has access to a nuclear weapon, but also to ensure that we bring a response to Iran's ballistic activities and also to destabilization in the region.”
On Sunday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said all UN sanctions have been re-imposed on Iran, including the permanent extension of an arms embargo.
Iran and the other signatories of the 2015 nuclear accord have rejected the US move, saying it was legally flawed as Washington withdrew from the deal in May 2018.