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Turkey says France's Macron won't break its Russia alliance

AFP  |  Ankara 

today said French will not be able to break its partnership with Russia, after he argued the weekend's air strikes against the Syrian regime had driven a wedge between and

"We can think differently but they (our relations with Russia) are not so weak that the French can break them," said at a press conference with NATO

"We have strong relations with Russia," Cavusoglu added. "But our relations with are not an alternative to NATO relations or our allies."

There have been growing signs of Western discomfort over the alliance of -- a key NATO member since 1952 -- with and over

In an interview with French television, suggested that the air strikes against regime targets over the weekend had succeeded in engineering a split in the Russia-alliance.

"With these strikes and this intervention, we separated the Russians and the Turks on this issue... the Turks condemned the and supported the operation that we conducted," the French told in an interview.

and are the key allies of Syrian President and their military intervention in is widely seen as helping his regime stay in power.

President on Saturday had welcomed the strikes, which he described as "appropriate" and strongly condemned the

But Cavusoglu said was mistaken in his assessment and said that "expected statements befitting of a president" and should express himself "more seriously".

Earlier, also hit back at Macron, saying our "Syria policy is not a policy of being on the same side or being opposed to another country."

Bozdag's comments follow tension between and after Macron offered to mediate between Turkey and outlawed Kurdish militants, an offer furiously rejected by Erdogan.

Earlier this month, Erdogan hosted a summit on Syria with and Russia in Ankara, the second such meeting after trilateral talks in November in the resort of Sochi.

Cavusoglu said that Macron had expressed interest in attending the Ankara summit and Erdogan then sounded out and over the idea.

But while Russian President was not against him coming, Iran preferred to meet with just the three presidents and leave a broader summit for later, he said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, April 16 2018. 18:15 IST