Reuters - Duvar English
French President Emmanuel Macron on June 14 said he had received assurances from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan that he wanted foreign mercenaries to leave Libyan territory as soon as possible.
"We agreed to work on this withdrawal (of foreign mercenaries). It doesn't just depend on the two of us. But I can tell you President Erdoğan confirmed during our meeting his wish that the foreign mercenaries, the foreign militias, operating on Libyan soil leave as soon as possible," Macron told a news conference at the end of a summit of NATO leaders in Brussels.
Macron was speaking after his first face-to-face with Erdoğan in more than a year as tensions between the two NATO allies worsened especially over the conflict in Libya.
Separately, Erdoğan said he told Macron that their two countries could work together to tackle conflicts in Syria and Libya, without elaborating further.
Turkey deployed troops to Libya under an accord on military cooperation signed with the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), helping it repel an assault by forces from eastern Libya. It also sent thousands of Syrian fighters to Libya.
Earlier on June 14, Macron's office said that the French president and Erdoağn discussed the need to work together on tackling problems in Syria and Libya.
Macron said that a clarification was made regarding the debates on Islam in talks with Erdoğan.
The meeting lasted for 52 minutes.
Macron also shared a picture of himself with Erdoğan.
En amont du sommet de l'OTAN, j’ai eu un long échange en tête-à-tête avec le Président Erdogan. Pour avancer avec clarté, respect et exigence. pic.twitter.com/dIYw8sWyn4— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) June 14, 2021
Macron said last week that there are deep disagreements between the two countries.
“We have deep disagreements, and we know it. We have had controversies sometimes, and we accept them. But no matter what the disagreements, we always have to talk," Macron was quoted by the Le Monde newspaper as saying.
The two leaders engaged in numerous bitter wars of words in the past, with Erdoğan telling Macron to check his "brain death" following the French President's criticism of NATO.
Erdoğan also expressed hope that France would “get rid of” Macron as soon as possible and said the leader needed “mental checks.”
Macron, on his part, said that Turks “deserve something else” than the policies of Erdoğan.
Following his meeting with Macron on June 14, Erdoğan also held talks with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Merkel and Erdoğan discussed Turkey's relationship with the European Union in the run-up to the European Council meeting on June 24, and the United Nations-led resolution on the Cyprus issue, a German government spokesperson said.