Yeni Safak: Turkish Foreign Ministry responds to Macron on Balkans19 April 2018 | 15:55 | FOCUS News Agency
In a written statement, spokesman Hami Aksoy responded to a question regarding the remarks made by French President Emmanuel Macron about Turkey and the Balkans during a speech at the European Parliament on Tuesday.
Aksoy said Macron, similarly to a speech he made last year, has "used expressions in the European Parliament about the Balkans being an area of rivalry for the EU, Turkey and the Russian Federation".
"This understanding that views the Balkans as a sphere of influence is not constructive," Aksoy stressed.
Aksoy continued: "Being a Balkan country as well, Turkey’s aim and priority in the region today, as it has been in the past, was the maintenance and strengthening of peace, stability and sustainable development."
"With this objective, we continue to support membership of all countries in the region to European and Euro-Atlantic institutions," he added.
Aksoy said Turkey hopes that France will contribute, at least as much as Turkey, to integration efforts of Turkey's friends in the Balkans to the EU and NATO.
"Within this framework, we advise France to try to understand better the contribution efforts of Turkey for the stability of the Balkans," he added.
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