With the conditions being considered particularly complicated, international analysts are not only struggling to make the right reading of developments, but also to assess what will be the next moves of key players like France in the “Mediterranean chessboard”.
Bruno Tertrais, Deputy Director of the Foundation for Strategic Research, closely monitors the crisis in the Eastern Mediterranean and believes that in the event of a military conflict between Greece and Turkey, Paris will intervene vigorously.
The interview Dr. Tertrais had on SKAI began with Apostolos Maggeriadis asking how the Frenchman viewed the Oruç Reis Turkish research vessel returning to port, in which he expressed his belief that it will be interpreted as a sign of deescalation, whether that is true or not.
Dr. Tertrais also gave his doubts that the European Council will come to an agreement on sanctions against Turkey for its violations of Greek and Cypriot continental shelves and constant war rhetoric.
When asked by Maggeriadis whether France would intervene in a Greco-Turkish war, the Deputy Director of the Paris-based Foundation for Strategic Research said “That is an important issue. Let me give you a hunch.”
“I do not know what is in the mind of Emmanuel Macron, but I think it would be… if there was a clear cut aggression, military aggression or otherwise, against an EU partner, an EU ally such as Greece, it would be impossible for a country like France to not react militarily,” the professor said, adding “It would just be impossible.”
“Now remember we are discussing very touchy issues obviously, because not all EU members would agree that there wouold need to be a military reaction. But I think if it was indisputably according to the French view of international law, then clearly the French would react militarily. In exactly what way, shape or form I don’t know, but they would have to, they would have to,” he said while nodding.
When asked by the interviewer what the source of the French-Turkish rivalry, the professor explained that Syria and Libya are areas where they have very strong disagreements.
While emphasising that natural resources are not an issue for the French, Tertrais explained that Paris’ issue with Turkey concerns international law regarding maritime space and continental shelves, as the EU’s willingness to defend its borders.
The Deputy Directer of one of France’s most influential think tanks that was founded by a French Defense Minister and is openly partner with France’s Ministry of the Armed Forces and Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, said that France does not oppose Islam, but the radical political Islam that Turkey is aggressively promoting in Europe that are incompatible with the French Republic.