Turkey has condemned French President Emmanuel Macron for meeting with members of the Syrian Democratic Council at the Élysée Palace in the capital Paris.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Tanju Bilgiç on July 20 said that Ankara condemns the French leader for meeting with members of the council that is "under the control of" the People's Protection Units (YPG).
Turkey deems the YPG a terrorist organization due to the group's links to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). It has carried out military offensives in northern Syria in the previous years against the group.
According to the Turkish Foreign Ministry, France's "insistence" on continuing relations with "this separatist organization" threatens Turkey's national security, Syria's political unity, and territorial integrity, as well as the efforts to establish stability in the region.
"We would like to state once again that Turkey will continue its struggle against this terrorist organization and its extensions everywhere with determination," Bilgiç's statement read.
Macron on July 19 met with Kurdish politicians from northeastern Syria and discussed the need to continue working to establish political stability in the area, the French Presidency said.
Berivan Khaled, the co-chair of the Executive Council of the Autonomous Administration of North and East, said that the discussion focused in particular on France's support for the international community's recognition of the Kurdish Autonomous Administration.
The delegation also included Ilham Ahmed, co-chair of the Syrian Democratic Council, and Ghassan Youssef, one of the leaders of the Civil Council of Deir Ezzor.
Macron praised the " fighters' courage" in northeastern Syria and the sacrifices they made against ISIS, adding "we will continue to fight terrorism alongside the Syrian Democratic Forces,” according to the statement.
Macron promised that France would proceed with its “humanitarian work” in northeastern Syria, where Paris had spent “more than 100 million euros since the occupation of Raqqa,” the former stronghold of ISIS, in 2017.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Macron have in the past repeatedly exchanged in a war of words on France's support for the Kurdish fighters in Syria.