NEWS

French ambassador slams Ankara's 'bogus deal' with Tripoli gov't

VASSILIS NEDOS

TAGS: Diplomacy

The French Ambassador to Greece Patrick Maisonnave on Monday underlined France's interest in boosting defense ties with Greece during a press conference delivered from the Dixmude amphibious assault ship and helicopter carrier which is currently docked at the port of Piraeus and participating in exercises with Greek armed forces. 

"The presence here of this ship shows that France wants to have a presence in this part of the world," Maisonnave said. 

Referring to Turkey's provocations in the region, which he described as "activism," he said, "we shall see how we respond to this behavior." 

As for the maritime borders deal that Ankara signed with Libya's Tripoli-based government, Maisonnave said, "we are faced with a NATO ally that is taking initiatives beyond the limits of international law," speaking of an "iilegal memorandum" with Libya that French President Emmanuel Macron has also condemned. 

"France condemns this memorandum which blatantly violates international law," the ambassador said, referring to "a bogus deal."

As for Turkey's transgressions in Cyprus's exclusive economic zone, Maisonnave said the actions violatethe law of the sea and the rights of islands to an EEZ. 

"We will stand by all nations that will defend the rights of the Greeks and the Cypriots," he said. "I am not talking about a European force," he added, "but we will stand by all our allies." 

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is to meet Macron in Paris on Wednesday for talks that are expected to focus on Turkey's tactics in the Eastern Mediterranean. 

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