France recently increased its military presence in the eastern Mediterranean as a sign of solidarity with Athens and Nicosia. Macron wants to receive the Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis immediately before the meeting in the Corsican island capital. Paris has a military partnership with Athens. Recently it was speculated that Paris could supply Greece with up to 20 Rafale fighter jets and frigates.
Paris vs. Ankara
Macron is considered a tough critic of Turkish President Erdogan in the EU. The 42-year-old had attacked Ankara several times because of its role in the Libya conflict, because this also threatens the security of Europe. Turkey supports the internationally recognized government in Libya in the conflict. Macron is in favor of a “demanding dialogue” between the Europeans and Turkey and, above all, demands clarity from Erdogan, it was said in the Élysée circles. There is a “collective interest” of Europeans in stabilizing and clarifying the relationship with Ankara – because Turkey is an important partner of the EU.
In the North African country of Libya, since the overthrow of long-term ruler Muammar al-Gaddafi in 2011, there has been a civil war that is fueled from outside. While Turkey supports the government in Tripoli, the influential General Khalifa Haftar is receiving help from Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Russia, among others.