France looking for acts, not 'soothing statements' from Turkey on East Med, Karabakh

France expects actions and not  “soothing statements’’ from Turkey on issues such as the eastern Mediterranean and Nagorno Karabakh, French Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Sunday.

“It is not enough that for two or three days, we have seen soothing statements from President (Recep Tayyip) Erdogan, we need action,” Al Khaleej Today news site cited Le Drian as saying, pointing specifically to “some which are easy to do in the Eastern Mediterranean, in Libya, there are also which are easy to do in Nagorno-Karabakh.”

The French official’s remarks ahead of a European Council Summit next month, which will address the issue of new sanctions against Turkey.

France has called for a total rethink of EU relations with Turkey as tensions between the two countries have reached new heights in recent months over a string of issues, including hydrocarbon resources in the eastern Mediterranean and Paris’ crackdown on radical Islam.

Paris maintained a number of disagreements with Ankara, Le Drian said, pointing to eastern Mediterranean, where Turkey has “attacked two member countries of the European Union, Greece and Cyprus” and Nagorno-Karabakh, “where they also send Syrian mercenaries.”

Turkey is locked in a dispute with a dispute with Greece and Cyprus over the extent of their continental shelves and their claims to hydrocarbon resources in the eastern Mediterranean.

Ankara has thrown its full support behind Azerbaijan in its conflict with Armenia over the breakaway territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. The country denies allegations of deploying Syrian mercenaries to the region.