PARIS (Reuters) - France’s young new president, Emmanuel Macron, said life as a world leader is less “cool” than it might seem, citing talks with Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan as an example.
Asked by Le Point magazine in an interview if he was trying to be the new “cool” kid on the global stage, Macron replied: “The global stage is not really a ‘cool’ scene, you know.”
Asked to give an example, he said: “I am the one who has to talk with Erdogan every 10 days.” He did not elaborate.
Erdogan is often criticized by leaders in Western Europe and he has clashed with the European Union over human rights and other issues.
The last known conversation between Macron and Erdogan was on Aug. 27, when they discussed the fate of a French journalist jailed in Turkey.
An aide to Macron later said the French president had not meant to mock or criticize his Turkish counterpart.
“The conversations with Mr. Erdogan are always very serious,” the aide explained.
Reporting by Ingrid Melander and Elizabeth Pineau; Editing by Robin Pomeroy and Sandra Maler