France will propose to the European Council, which is made up of the EU’s political leaders, to abolish a customs union with Turkey, Europe 1 radio reported on Monday, without saying where it got the information.
Paris is seeking to end the key economic agreement in response to the aggressive rhetoric of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan towards French President Emmanuel Macron, and to Turkey’s aggressive policies in the eastern Mediterranean, Europe 1 said.
Disputes over the Syrian and Libyan civil wars had already soured relations between Macron and Erdoğan. But, a political row over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad published in the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo and Macron’s proposals last month to deal with Islamist extremism has dragged relations between the two leaders to a new low.
A latest war of words between Erdoğan and Macron erupted after a French teacher who showed children cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad was killed in France on Oct. 16.
In response, Macron swore to intensify efforts to stop what he termed “Islamist separatism” subverting French values. Erdoğan then accused the French president of an anti-Islamic agenda and said he needed a mental health check.
EU leaders have said that Turkey will face economic sanctions at a summit planned for Dec. 10 should it continue provocative actions in the eastern Mediterranean. France, along with Greece and Greek Cypriots, has been spearheading efforts to impose sanctions.
Europe 1 was established in 1955 and is one of France’s leading privately-owned radio stations.