French Ambassador condemns Turkey’s provocations, praises Greece-France military cooperation

Patrick Maisonnave

Patrick Maisonnave
France’s Ambassador to Greece, Patrick Maisonnave on Monday condemned Turkish provocations and called the Turkey-Libya Memoranda of Understanding a "pseudo agreement.”

Maisonnave made the comments whilst on-board the French helicopter carrier "Dixmude" that sailed into Piraeus on Monday for a multinational naval drill.

The Ambassador’s comments came only days after similar statements by France’s Finance Minister, who defended Greece claiming his country will not accept any threat against ally Greece.

Maisonnave praised the military cooperation between Greece and France
and said that his country is “very interested in developing relations with Greece, especially in defence," said the French ambassador and added that "France is helping Greece as best as it can, so that it can deal with potential threats."

On armaments for Greece, Maisonnave said that "a major contract was recently signed between the two countries for the modernisation of Greece's Mirage fighter jets, we will soon be signing a similar agreement for NH90 helicopters and our countries are also now discussing the purchase of two new frigates."

On Turkish provocations and on Libya, Maisonnave noted how it is "a fact that Turkey has recently been very active in the eastern Mediterranean, so we only see it is fit to look at initiatives towards tackling this attitude."

"We are looking at a NATO ally (Turkey) who is taking initiatives against international law. I am talking in particular about the signing of the MoUs with Libya, which, as our President Emmanuel Macron has said, we the French have declared invalid and void. It is a clear violation of the International Law of the Sea, a pseudo-agreement against Cypriot and Greek sovereign rights, so we consider it to be as non-existent and fully and unequivocally condemnable," emphasised Mezonav.

On the stance France would keep incase Turkey increases its provocative actions, Maisonnave said that "we will stand by all nations that will defend the sovereign rights of both Greece and Cyprus, which must be respected (...) We will stand beside all the allies who consider this situation unacceptable," he concluded.