The French government has failed in its duty of solidarity with its European partners by letting Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu address a rally on its soil, the right-wing candidate for the French presidency, Francois Fillon, says.
Two of France's "closest allies," Germany and the Netherlands, have been "publicly insulted in an unspeakable manner" by Turkish leaders and "a joint position should have prevailed over meeting Turkish demands," Fillon argues.
The episode shows that Turkey "is every day moving further from the founding values of the European project" and has no place in the European Union, he adds.
France's Foreign Minister Jean Marc Ayrault said there was no reason to ban the rally in the eastern city of Metz "in the absence of any known threat to public order." The meeting was organized by a non-governmental organization in a closed space and "is covered by the freedom of assembly," he said.