France Ready to Help Turkey, Greece after Quake


The French government on Friday offered help to Turkey as well as Paris' close ally Greece after a devastating earthquake hit the Aegean region, leaving at least six people dead.

The expressions of solidarity came after weeks of tensions between France and Turkey, which reached a peak last weekend when President Recep Tayyip Erdogan questioned the mental health of his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron.

"Full solidarity from France with Greece and Turkey after the earthquake," tweeted Clement Beaune, the European affairs minister. "We are ready to provide the necessary assistance."

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin added: "France stands alongside the Turkish and Greek people to face this terrible ordeal."

"If the governments of these countries desire, French aid can be immediately dispatched to the scene," he added.

Macron and Erdogan have locked horns on disputes over Libya, Syria and Nagorno-Karabakh, but Erdogan was especially infuriated by a new French campaign to stamp our radical Islamism after a series of jihadist attacks.

France, for its part, lamented that Turkey had sent no condolence message after the murder of a teacher who had shown a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed to his class.

But Turkey on Thursday strongly condemned the attack on a church in the French Riviera city of Nice by a suspected radical Islamist that left three people dead.

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