Turkey's foreign minister says the country has so far brought back nearly 70,000 of its nationals from 114 countries and condemns France over its policies in Syria and Libya.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu attends the DEIK Talks held by the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey (DEIK) via teleconference call at the Foreign Ministry building in Ankara, Turkey on May 14, 2020.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu attends the DEIK Talks held by the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey (DEIK) via teleconference call at the Foreign Ministry building in Ankara, Turkey on May 14, 2020. (AA)

Turkey has so far brought back nearly 70,000 of its nationals from 114 countries amid the coronavirus pandemic, the country's foreign minister said on Friday.

"We brought nearly 70,000 citizens from 114 countries to our country [due to Covid-19] and placed them under 14-day quarantine," Mevlut Cavusoglu said in a live broadcast on A Haber channel.

Underlining that a total of 135 countries have asked Turkey to supply medical equipment, he said the country has sent medical aid to 80 of them.

As of Friday, the country reported 146,457 coronavirus cases, including 106,133 recoveries. The death toll stands at 4,055.

Since first appearing in China last December, the novel coronavirus causing the Covid-19 disease has spread to at least 188 countries and regions, with the US and Europe the hardest-hit areas.

The pandemic has killed nearly 305,400 worldwide, with over 4.5 million confirmed cases, while recoveries have surpassed 1.61 million, according to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University in the US.

'France wanted to help YPG'

Cavusoglu on Friday accused France of attempting to help the YPG/PKK and criticised the country over its support to the warlord Khalifa Haftar in Libya.

“France wanted to help YPG elements to carve out a terror state in northern Syria. But after our Operation Peace Spring, their plans have collapsed,” he said.

The YPG is the PKK’s - an internationally recognised terror organisation - Syrian offshoot.

“Since then they have been opposing Turkey on every international platform, including their support for Haftar in Libya,” he added.

“Despite a NATO statement, France continues to support him [Haftar],” Cavusoglu said.

The Libyan government, also known as the Government of National Accord (GNA), has been under attack by warlord Haftar’s armed forces since April 2019.

Haftar’s illegal forces in eastern Libya have launched several attacks to capture Tripoli, with more than 1,000 killed in the violence.

The Libyan government launched Operation Peace Storm on March 26 to counter attacks on the capital.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies