Türkiye believes international politics should be built on honesty, Erdogan says, adding "where there is no honesty, there is no dignity".

Turning to the relations with Russia, Erdogan said there is a mutual respect in Türkiye's relations with Russia.
Turning to the relations with Russia, Erdogan said there is a mutual respect in Türkiye's relations with Russia. (Murat Cetinmuhurdar / Turkish presidency - handout)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said France's President Emmanuel Macron "is not honest", stressing that Türkiye believes "international politics should be built on honesty". 

The Turkish present was addressing a gathering with the youth in the country's Bilecik province.

"Where there is no honesty, there is no dignity," Erdogan said, adding, "Of course, there are many such leaders in the world."

Erdogan said it is unfortunate that "in the relations with Greece in the Mediterranean, they ignore Türkiye and enter into different relations with them."

He added France is rapidly losing its reputation in Africa, including in Mali and Burkina Faso, and in the wider international community.

"(Macron) has lost his credibility in the parliament ... France is constantly losing credibility," Erdogan said.

Emphasising that Türkiye's relations with the Turkic Republics, including Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, are increasing day by day, Erdogan said Ankara is doing its part not only for the Turkic Republics, but also for the relations with Libya.

READ MORE: Türkiye calls on France to support global anti-terror fight

Trilateral meeting

Turning to the relations with Russia, Erdogan said there is a mutual respect in Türkiye's relations with Russia, and suggesting a trilateral meeting among Ankara, Moscow and Damascus regarding developments in Syria.

"Although we can't get the result we want in the developments in northern Syria right now, we say, 'Come, let's have some tripartite meetings now.' What are these? Let's come together as a trio, Russia, Türkiye and Syria," the Turkish president said. 

"We can even add Iran to this. Let Iran also come. Let's have our talks in this way and peace will come to the region."

Previously, Erdogan said the leaders of Türkiye, Russia and Syria could also meet to discuss peace and stability in the war-stricken country.

Although no date or location has yet been announced, the foreign ministers of the three countries are expected to hold a meeting, which would mark another high-level of talks since the Syrian civil war began in early 2011.

On December 28, the Turkish, Russian and Syrian defence ministers met in Moscow to discuss counterterrorism efforts in Syria, and they agreed to continue tripartite meetings to ensure stability in the country and the wider region.

READ MORE: Will Türkiye-Syria ice-breaking meeting lead to normalisation?

F-35s to strengthen NATO

Commenting on the F-35 fighter jets, Erdogan repeated his call on the US to keep its promise.

"You said F-35, but you didn't keep your word. Although we paid about $1.4 billion, you give nothing in return," Erdogan said. "If you give nothing in return, then this will have a price."

Turkish-US relations have been strained in recent years due to US support for the YPG/PKK terror group in northern Syria and disagreements concerning Türkiye's purchase of Russia's S-400 air defence system in 2017.

In 2019, under then-President Donald Trump, the US suspended Türkiye from the F-35 fighter jet programme after objecting to its buying Russian S-400 missile defence system.

Türkiye has said repeatedly that there is no conflict between the two, and proposed a commission to study the issue. Türkiye also said it fulfilled its obligations on the F-35s and that its suspension was against the rules.

Ankara also made a request to Washington in 2021 for 40 F-16 jets and modernisation kits. The State Department informally notified Congress of the potential sale.

Ankara maintains that the fighter jets would strengthen not only Türkiye, but also NATO.

READ MORE: Türkiye wants to see 'concrete steps' from US on F-16 sales - Akar

Source: TRTWorld and agencies