Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Thursday congratulated his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron on his re-election, and emphasized the importance of ties between Ankara and Paris for Europe, Agence France-Presse reported.
The phone call marked the first interaction between the two leaders since Macron was re-elected on April 24, fending off a serious challenge from his rival Marine Le Pen.
The two leaders discussed “steps to improve Turkish-French relations” as well as the Russia-Ukraine war, the Turkish presidency said.
Erdoğan said Ankara was doing its best to resolve the conflict through diplomacy, it added.
He also told Macron that Turkish-French relations were important for Europe’s global role, according to the presidency.
Erdoğan in the past traded barbs with Macron, with tensions escalating in 2020 especially after France cracked down on Islamist extremism after several attacks on its soil.
He described Macron at the time as “trouble for France” and said he hoped that France would “get rid” of Macron “as soon as possible.”
But last week, the Turkish leader hailed Le Pen’s defeat as a “win.”
“To put it correctly, the elimination and defeat of extremist ends in French elections is, in my opinion, a win because whatever we suffer is because of extremism,” he said in comments to local media last week.
During the campaign, Le Pen stood by her controversial proposal to ban the Islamic headscarf.