ANKARA, April 16 (Xinhua) -- Turkey's relations with Russia are not so weak to be separated as the French president claimed, said Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Monday.
Speaking at a joint press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Ankara, Cavusoglu said that Turkey's ties with Russia were not an alternative to its ties with NATO, France and the United States.
His comments came in response to an earlier remark from French President Emmanuel Macron, who claimed that the U.S.-led strikes on Syria had "separated" Turkey from Russia.
"With those strikes we have separated the Russians and the Turks on this. The Turks condemned the chemical weapons," Macron said on Sunday.
Bekir Bozdag, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister and government spokesperson, said earlier Monday that Turkey does not stand by any country on Syria, and its policy in the region is different from that of Iran, Russia and the United States.
On Saturday, the U.S., Britain and France launched strikes on a number of targets in Syria in response to the alleged chemical attack in the Douma district in Eastern Ghouta last week.
During the press conference, Cavusoglu also unveiled that Macron wanted to be part of the trilateral summit of Turkey, Russia and Iran held in Ankara in early April.
Ankara has consulted with the other two countries. Russia welcomed the participation of France but Iran preferred to host France at a separate meeting, and Macron did not attend the summit, he said.