Cyprus defends Macron over Erdogan insults

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Cyprus has come to the defence of French President Emmanuel Macron in strongly condemning “derogatory remarks” made by Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan .

The Cyprus Foreign Ministry, on its official account, tweeted in French its “strong condemnation by our partners of the derogatory remarks made by the Turkish President in reference to the French President”.

“Such language is unacceptable and has no place in diplomacy,” it added.

The Greek Foreign Ministry also tweeted in French, expressing its solidarity with France.

It strongly condemned the “insulting remarks” made by Turkey against the President of the French Republic, as well as any speech that leads to hatred.

Macron has been a staunch ally of Cyprus and Greece in the face of Turkey’s eastern Mediterranean energy exploration which has triggered tensions in the region.

Turkey has continued its search in Cypriot and Greek waters despite international calls to cease doing so.

France also helped rally EU leaders to threaten sanctions against Turkey if it did not withdraw its ships from the East Med. They will reconvene on the issue in December.

Turkey’s President said on Sunday Macron had “lost his way” in his second sharp criticism of the French leader in as many days over the treatment of Muslims.

Earlier, Erdogan said Macron had a problem with Muslims and needed mental checks – a rebuke that caused France to recall its ambassador from Ankara.

“The person in charge of France has lost his way. He goes on about Erdogan all day. Look at yourself first and where you are going…he is a case and he really must be checked up,” Erdogan said in a televised speech.

This month, Macron declared war on “Islamist separatism,” which he believes is taking over some Muslim communities in France.

France has been shaken by the beheading of a teacher by an Islamist militant, avenging the use of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in a class on freedom of expression.

France said it recalled its envoy to Turkey for consultations after “unacceptable” comments by Erdogan, questioning Macron’s mental health.

It was the latest episode in a string of increasingly bitter differences between Paris and Ankara that are fraying ties between the two NATO allies.

Macron’s office said on Saturday that Erdogan’s policies are “dangerous.”.

The EU’s top diplomat Josep Borrell also condemned Erdogan for making “unacceptable” comments about Macron, calling Turkey “to cease this dangerous spiral of confrontation.”

“The conclusions of the European Council entail a real offer to relaunch our relationship, but political willingness is needed on the part of the Turkish authorities on this positive agenda,” Borrell tweeted on Sunday.

“Otherwise, Turkey will be even more isolated,” he added. (source agencies)