Turkey and France have repeatedly traded barbs over policies in Syria, Libya, the Eastern Mediterranean and Nagorno-Karabakh, as well as over the publication of cartoons of Prophet Mohammad in France.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu   at a joint press conference with Portuguese Foreign Minister Augusto following their meeting within Cavusoglu's official visit in Lisbon, Portugal on, January 07, 2021.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu at a joint press conference with Portuguese Foreign Minister Augusto following their meeting within Cavusoglu's official visit in Lisbon, Portugal on, January 07, 2021. (AA)

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has said Turkey and France are working on a roadmap to normalise ties and talks are going well.

He added Ankara was ready to improve ties with its NATO ally if Paris showed the same willingness.

Turkey and France have repeatedly traded barbs over policies in Syria, Libya, the eastern Mediterranean and Nagorno-Karabakh, as well as over the publication of cartoons of Prophet Mohammad in France. Paris has led a push for EU sanctions on Turkey.

Speaking alongside his Portuguese counterpart Augusto Santos Silva in Lisbon, Cavusoglu said the current tensions between the NATO allies stemmed from Paris "categorically" opposing Turkey since Turkey's 2019 offensive into northeast Syria against the YPG, Syrian branch of PKK.

PKK is designated as a terrorist organisation by Turkey and France as well as EU and the US.

"Turkey is not categorically against France, but France has been against Turkey categorically since Operation Peace Spring," Cavusoglu said.

"In the end, we had a very constructive phone conversation with my French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian and we agreed that we should work on a roadmap to normalise relations," he said.

"We have been working on an action plan, or roadmap, to normalise relations and it has been going well... If France is sincere, Turkey is ready to normalise ties with France as well."

Last month, the EU prepared punitive measures over Turkey's dispute with members Greece and Greek Cypriot Administration over rights to offshore resources in the eastern Mediterranean, but decided to postpone the measures until March despite an earlier push by France to sanction Ankara.

After months of tensions, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and French President Emmanuel Macron discussed their differences in a phone call in September, agreeing to improve ties. But, the two presidents later traded accusations over a host of issues as tensions flared again.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies