Erdoğan and Cavusoglu attack France and the USA while Akar extends a "hand of friendship" to Greece

Recep Tayyip Erdogan Mevlu Cavusoglu

Turkey is opening new fronts against France and the USA with the latest statements made by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, against the background of the well-known threats against Greece. At the same time the Minister of Defence Hulusi Akar extends a "hand of friendship" to Athens, asking for the Aegean to become a "sea of ​​peace" and "to share its wealth fairly".

On Friday, Erdoğan lashed out at France, accusing Paris of supporting Islamic State in Syria through cement company Lafarge, which admitted paying millions of dollars to the Islamic State group to keep a factory in Syria open.

“When I said how the cement giant called Lafarge was supporting terrorist organisations in northern Syria and had poured concrete, the French did not understand. I told Macron that too," said the Turkish president during his speech at the Communication conference of the member countries of the Islamic Cooperation.

"In the French parliament they asked Macron to account for it. It has become the most important topic on France's agenda at the moment. This lie didn't work. Lafarge emerged as one of the most important institutions supporting terrorism."

Earlier, Erdoğan had attacked US Senator Robert Menendez, saying his position on the F-16s is his personal opinion and will not influence Washington's decision.

Commenting on the senators who side with Menendez, the Turkish president wondered "Their relations with Greece are also the subject of a separate study. Why are they so biased?'

Turkish Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu also fired shots at the US - among others - for the lifting of the arms embargo to the Republic of Cyprus, saying that the "balance of the US has broken". He made public the dialogue he had with his American counterpart Antony Blinken on the subject.

"I told him 'why did you do this?' and he replied 'because they cooperated with us on the black money issue'. 'Well in return you go and give weapons? Because these weapons are against the Turks'," said the minister.

"And what did we do? We have sent reinforcements and will send more. When they decide, we take steps," he added.

In a different climate, the statements of the Turkish Minister of Defence Hulusi Akar, from Adrianople (Ἁδριανούπολις, Turkish: Edirne), said that "we expect Greece to take the hand of peace that we have extended," calling for dialogue between the two countries.

"Unfortunately, it is not possible to agree on these good neighbourly relations and international law (with Greece). However, we again extend our hand for peace, patiently, and do what needs to be done for peace to prevail in our region," Akar said.

"In short, this is what we call Turkish-Greek problems. Then we say what should we do to overcome these problems. We say, let's do it in peaceful ways, let's do it through dialogue.

"There is work being done by our Ministry of Foreign Affairs. There are works carried out by the Ministry of National Defence. There is also work being done by our president with NATO members. (The Greeks) do not come to any of the meetings. They don't come to the meetings."

Akar then asked for the "fair distribution" of the wealth of the Aegean.

"The Aegean can be a sea of ​​peace, the wealth of the Aegean can be shared fairly and, consequently, people on both sides can be happier and more prosperous," he stressed, concluding: "We expect this to be understood. We are waiting for the hand of peace that we extended to be held."

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