Europe and the US join hands to counter Erdogan’s aggressive Middle East policy

On Monday, for a discreet meeting described as a “courtesy” visit, French President Emmanuel Macron received US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The two met to discuss numerous topics, including Turkey’s aggressive foreign policy, global security threats, attempts to counter violent extremism, Iran’s “destabilising” actions and Hezbollah’s “malign impact” in Lebanon.

In his recent interview with the French daily Le Figaro, Pompeo said, “French President Emmanuel Macron and I accept that the recent actions of Turkey have been very violent…” Europe and the United States must work together to persuade Erdogan that such acts are not in his people’s interest.

Turkey as a whole has been a matter of concern, particularly for European leaders. Turkey’s broad and intrusive policies have been the perpetrator of the Middle East region, ranging from Mediterranean oil exploration, the militarization of Libya, the sponsorship of ISIS, the financing of militias in Syria to the support of Azerbaijan in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with Armenia.

For its increasingly aggressive foreign policy, Pompeo slammed Turkey and expressed concern about its growing military capabilities, although he did not mention whether or not Ankara would continue to be part of the North Atlantic Alliance.

Macron accused the Turkish president last month of seeking a bellicose approach to NATO. In addition, he added that tensions in the region could be overcome if the Turkish president respects France, respects the European Union, respects its principles, says no lies and does not commit insults.”

Late Macron had struggled to cool down the situation with Muslim nations as things became tense after heated rhetoric after the assassination of French teacher Samuel Paty, who showed caricatures of the prophet Muhammad to his students along with other cartoons to explore the idea of free expression.