Turkey, EU work to continue positive agenda, says FM Çavuşoğlu

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Turkey’s foreign minister met on March 22 with the EU’s foreign policy chief in Brussels and discussed bilateral ties, regional issues and other matters.

Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Twitter that Turkey “will work together with EU High Representative Josep Borrell to continue [the] positive agenda.

“More cooperation is needed on updating [the] Customs Union, visa liberalization, irregular migration and [the] fight against terrorism,” said Çavuşoğlu.

He added that “regional issues including Syria, Afghanistan and Libya” were also among the subjects the two officials discussed during the meeting.

“We want to establish relations with Turkey as a candidate country, a neighbor and an important country where we can develop the best relations. We want to do this by defending the interests of member states and the EU,” Borrell said after a meeting of EU foreign ministers which is taking place before the EU Leaders Summit this week.

Turkey-EU relations will be evaluated during the summit.

Borrell also said that in the coming weeks, the EU would continue to closely monitor Turkey’s behavior by setting some milestones, such as talks on resolving the Cyprus issue and exploratory talks with Greece.

EU foreign ministers welcome Turkey report

Meanwhile, EU foreign ministers on Monday welcomed a new report on the bloc’s future relationship with Turkey, said Borrell, who prepared the report.

Speaking at a press conference after a meeting of EU foreign ministers, the top EU diplomat said the report provided a good basis “for the debate of EU heads and governments,” looking ahead to the EU leaders’ summit this Thursday and Friday.

“The report recognizes that since last December, we have seen some signs and steps towards the de-escalation in the eastern Mediterranean from the Turkish leadership,” Borrell said, referring to a maritime dispute between Turkey and Greece.

“At the same time, the domestic situation in Turkey remains a serious concern, including the threats to the HDP [People’s Democracy Party] and the withdrawal of Turkey from the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and
Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence, better known as the Istanbul Convention,” he added.

Hurriyet Daily News

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