Top Turkish diplomat meets NATO chief

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Turkey’s top diplomat met the chief of NATO in Brussels on Jan. 22.

“Should further strengthen unity and solidarity within the Alliance,” Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said in a Twitter post after meeting Jens Stoltenberg at the NATO headquarters.

“Turkey assumes critical and leading roles in ensuring the Alliance’s deterrence and defense. Will continue to support NATO Missions in Afghanistan and Iraq,” he added.

The Turkish foreign minister met a number of top officials on Jan. 21, including EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and the bloc’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell.

Çavuşoğlu also had close door meetings with EU Commission Vice-President Margaritis Schinas, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson, and Oliver Varhelyi, Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement.

“Brief exchange with Turkish Foreign Minister @MevlutÇavuşoğlu on next steps in EU-Turkey relations,” said von der Leyen on Twitter after meeting with Çavuşoğlu.

“Dialogue is essential, but we also expect credible gestures on the ground. We will work with all our Member States to fulfill the mandate of the #EUCO,” she added.

“Welcomed Minister @MevlutÇavuşoğlu in @EU_Commission today. Constructive discussions about the opportunities and challenges ahead. Migration, security, people to people contacts and @EUErasmusPlus cooperation at the heart of a renewed EU-Turkey agenda. Time for positive steps,” Schinas wrote on Twitter.

Earlier, the top Turkish diplomat also met with EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell.

Describing 2020 as a “complicated year” for the EU-Turkey relations, Borrell said on Twitter: “Today, I received @MevlutÇavuşoğlu to discuss the way forward – to look for mutual strategic interests, the development of a cooperative + reciprocal relationship anchored in common values and principles.”

In a Twitter post, Çavuşoğlu said they discussed many issues.

“Wish to turn a new page with #EU. 18 March Statement should be revised with all elements. Must work together for a positive agenda. Discussed the preparatory work of the visits by Presidents of EU Council and Commission. @JosepBorrellF.”

Later in the evening, Çavuşoğlu posted another tweet, touching upon Turkey’s expectations from the EU.

“Must revitalize our accession process. Expecting visa liberalization and modernization of Customs Union. Should increase cooperation in fight against terrorism & irregular migration. Should fight against rising racism, discrimination and Islamophobia in Europe all together,” he said.

Çavuşoğlu arrived in Brussels on Wednesday evening for a two-day visit for talks with top EU and NATO officials.

Hurriyet Daily News

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