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    Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan shakes hands with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin during a welcoming ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Ankara on April 3, 2018

    Macron's Statement Can't Ruin Russian-Turkish Cooperation – Politician

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    Moscow and Ankara will continue their collaboration, Turkish observers have told Sputnik, commenting on French President Emmanuel Macron's earlier statement that the US-led coalition had separated the Russians and the Turks. According to the observers, the West's attempt to drive a wedge between Russia and Turkey has failed yet again.

    Emmanuel Macron's statements about the alleged Russia-Turkey split could not undermine the close and effective cooperation between the countries, Aziz Babuscu, the ruling Justice and Development (AKP) Party member of the parliament, told Sputnik Turkey.

    "The Turkish foreign minister and the president have already given a comprehensive response to these groundless statements," the parliamentarian stressed. "For my part, I would say that such statements demonstrate a lack of basic diplomatic courtesy, being an extremely primitive assessment of the situation."

    Earlier, commenting on the US-led coalition's April 14 missile strike on Syria, Macron stated in an interview to BFM TV: "With these strikes and this intervention, we've separated the Russians and the Turks on this issue… the Turks condemned the chemical strike and supported the operation that we conducted." On Saturday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hailed the attack as a powerful message to Damascus.

    However, Ankara refuted Macron's claim on April 16: Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu highlighted that Turkey's ties with Moscow are as strong as ever and noted that Ankara expected from Macron "statements befitting a president."

    For his part, Turkish political observer Ceyhun Bozkurt has underscored that the major objective of the US-British-French strike was to deal a blow to the Russian-Turkish relationship and cooperation within the framework of the Russia-Turkey-Iran format, which was actively gaining momentum both during Operation Olive Branch, and in the course of the summit of the heads of Russia, Turkey and Iran, held on April 4, 2018 in Ankara.

    "The information that the West is worried about, the development of Russian-Turkish cooperation and intends to prevent it has emerged before. The statement of Macron fully fits into this trend," Bozkurt opined.

    According to the political observer, it is not an easy task for the West to drive a wedge between Moscow and Ankara given the "bitter experience" of the Russo-Turkish crisis over the downing of the Su-24 warplane on November 24, 2015. Bozkurt emphasized that finally the sides had managed to mend fences.

    Additionally, after the assassination of Russian ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov Ankara and Moscow had demonstrated an unflinching determination to continue the joint struggle against terrorism, he recalled.

    "Over the past few years, the heads of Turkey and Russia have conducted regular telephone conversations and face-to-face meetings, which also reduces the likelihood of a rupture between the two countries," Bozkurt pointed out.

    Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia and Recep Tayyip Erdogan (right) of Turkey meeting in Istanbul, October 10, 2016
    © Sputnik / Alexei Druzhinin
    Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia and Recep Tayyip Erdogan (right) of Turkey meeting in Istanbul, October 10, 2016

    Washington Wants to Maintain Chaos in Middle East

    As for the US, it is seeking to maintain chaos in Syria, he suggested: "This chaos justifies the US presence [in the region]. After the attack, the United States, France and the United Kingdom are likely to try to boost their positions by acting jointly in terms of politics. This may suit the interests of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and the Democratic Union Party (PYD), because in this case they will be able to maintain and strengthen their positions in Manbij and east of the Euphrates [River]."

    The political analyst underscored that the potential political clash between Moscow and Ankara could nullify the success achieved in the region. "Therefore, the sides will continue cooperation to ensure their national interests and security," he explained.

    "The split in Syria will bring damage to the interests of all countries in the region," he presumed. "I believe that even in case of minor misunderstanding between the parties, this would not spoil the overall picture of their interaction and cooperation."

    On April 14, the US, France and the UK conducted a joint strike on Syria, firing over 100 missiles, 71 of which were intercepted by Syrian air defense systems. While Russia and Iran denounced the aggressive actions of the US-led coalition, Ankara welcomed the strike. Nevertheless, the Turkish leadership signaled that it won't take sides in the ongoing conflict in Syria: "Turkey is never absolutely with or against anyone on Syria," Erdogan stated.

    For his part, commenting on Macron's assumption regarding Russian-Turkish contradictions Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said: "No, these strikes did not divide us. It is no secret that the positions of Moscow and Ankara differ on a number of issues. At the same time, this does not prevent us from continuing to exchange views, to continue discussing this divergence of positions. Most importantly, this does not in any way affect the future multi-faceted development of our cooperation and interaction in the course of the implementation of major economic and other projects that Moscow and Ankara have set for themselves."

    It is not the first time Emmanuel Macron has found himself in an awkward position over the past few days following the joint strike.

    Speaking to the French channel BFM TV on April 15 Macron announced that he managed to "convince" US President Donald Trump to keep troops in Syria on a long-term basis.

    "Ten days ago, President Trump was saying the United States of America had a duty to disengage from Syria," Macron said. "I assure you, we have convinced him that it is necessary to stay for the long term."

    However, the White House has refuted Macron's claim, stating that the US is planning to withdraw its troops soon: "The president has been clear that he wants US forces to come home as quickly as possible," White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders responded.

    The views and opinions expressed by the speakers do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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    airstrike, The Syrian war, Justice and Development Party (AKP), Mevlut Cavusoglu, Vladimir Putin, Emmanuel Macron, Donald Trump, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey, Syria, United States, Russia, France
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