The European Union must avoid any break in relations with Turkey, an "essential" partner on migration and terror issues, French President Emmanuel Macron said while beginning a two-day visit to Greece on Thursday.
"I wish to avoid a rupture because (Turkey) is an essential partner in many crises we jointly face, specifically the migration challenge and the terrorist threat," Macron told the Kathimerini newspaper.
The 39-year-old centrist also said that Ankara had "objectively distanced itself" from the EU in recent months, citing Turkey’s desire to enter into a customs union with the EU as a possible area of retaliation.
Macron also underlined Thursday that he remained in "very regular contact" with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The EU and Turkey last year entered into an agreement which helped stem the flow of hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants into Greece.