"France expects from this meeting a condemnation of the Turkish offensive, an express request to stop it." This is how the Foreign Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, summarizes his mood at the microphone of Europe 1 Monday, before a meeting of the European Union. The 27 heads of European diplomacy are in effect in Luxembourg.
Convince the US to unite the international coalition
Last Wednesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan launched a military operation in northern Syria against Kurdish forces, described as terrorists by Ankara but longstanding partners of Westerners in the fight against Daesh. For Jean-Yves Le Drian, it is essential to adopt "a firm position on arms exports to Turkey".
"But above all, we hope that this is an opportunity to make the United States of America provoke a meeting of the international coalition against Daesh," he said. Since 2014, an international coalition under US leadership has been formed against the Islamic State. It is made up of about thirty countries, including many Europeans. "It is important now that we meet to appreciate the new deal because for France, the main enemy is Daesh," said Jean-Yves Le Drian.
Minister boycotts France-Turkey match
It is also a more symbolic gesture that decided to make the minister Monday night. While France meet Turkey as part of the qualifications for the Euro 2020 football, Jean-Yves Le Drian will not go to the Stade de France as he had originally planned. "He decided not to go," said his entourage.
Several political figures had called for the cancellation of the meeting. "We can not decently welcome tomorrow at the Stade de France those who salute the massacre of our Kurdish allies!", Tweeted Sunday evening a deputy, Jean-Christophe Lagarde (UDI, center-right), chairman of the study group on Kurds in the assembly.
He spoke of the military salvation achieved by Turkish footballers to celebrate their victory against Albania on Friday, in support of the soldiers engaged in the offensive in Syria. Turkey's sports and justice ministers, as well as the ambassador to Paris, are expected to attend the match from the official stand of the Stade de France, according to a Turkish diplomatic source.