Illusionary to proceed with Turkey’s EU bid, says French FM

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian in an interview with Greek Kathimerini daily, said it would be illusionary to believe the EU can proceed with the Turkish accession bid as he sent a strong message support to Greece and Cyprus.

‘’For several years now, the Turkish government has made choices that have put it at a distance from the EU and its values. Under these circumstances, it would be illusionary to believe that we can proceed with Turkish accession to the EU,’’ Le Drian is quoted as saying in reference to Turkey’s more than three decades-long bid to join the 28-member bloc.

Turkish prospects of joining the EU are lower than they have been at any time  since talks began in 2005, with the country’s increasingly authoritarian president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan being accused of driving the country further away from the bloc, which remains Turkey’s dominant trading partner.

When asked about Turkey’s ‘’violations’’ of Cyprus’s exclusive economic zone, the French foreign minister stressed that France has continually supported Cyprus’s sovereign right to explore and develop its natural resources, as per European and international law.

Noting that the EU and Turkey have a duty to cooperate in areas of shared interest -  on an economic level in the area of immigration and in the fight against terrorism, Le Drian stressed that the two sides must work together on regional issues, particularly Syria, ‘’where Turkey is an undeniable factor.’’