President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has represented Türkiye at the first summit of the newly established European Political Community in Prague on Oct. 6 and held bilateral meetings with prominent world leaders including French President Emmanuel Macron, President of EU Commission Ursula von der Leyen as well as Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.
Erdoğan led a big delegation in Prague that included Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, presidential advisor İbrahim Kalın, the head of the Communication Directorate Fahrettin Altun as well as special envoy for the normalization with Armenia Serdar Kılıç.
The summit brought 27 EU nations and 17 countries in the wider European continent under the European Political Community, a new platform created by French President Macron after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The idea of this new community is to bring all the European countries together around the same table to discuss ways to resolve the continent’s security problems.
In the format of an intergovernmental meeting, all the countries are represented equally and no final communiqué was planned to be issued after the summit. Erdoğan attended the opening session and a round table meeting devoted to peace and stability in Europe and was scheduled to attend the closing dinner hosted by Czech leadership.
Bilateral meetings in Prague
Following the round table meeting, Erdoğan held a number of bilateral meetings. His first meeting was with French President Emmanuel Macron who has initiated the establishment of this platform. Türkiye and France have increased dialogue over the recent period after a long term of strained ties.
The two leaders exchanged views on the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine and ways to minimize the negative impacts of the armed conflict. France was among the countries that hailed Türkiye’s mediation between Ukraine and Russia over the grain corridor.
Erdoğan later met with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez. Ankara and Madrid are on the same page on many regional issues and willing to deepen current economic, defense industry and other bilateral ties.
The Turkish President held a trilateral meeting with President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and EU term president Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala. The meeting was devoted to Türkiye-EU relations and other regional issues, including the ongoing war in Ukraine.
One of the most attention-grabbing bilateral meetings took place between President Erdoğan and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan. It was the first highest level encounter between the two neighboring countries since 2009.
Ankara and Yerivan have been in talks for the establishment of diplomatic ties and opening the sealed borders since late 2021. They both appointed special envoys who have held four rounds of talks until now. Erdoğan and Pashinyan were believed to talk about the normalization process as well as the ongoing peace talks between Azerbaijan and Armenia following the 2020 war that ended the latter’s occupation of Azerbaijan’s lands in the Nagorno-Karabakh region.
Hurriyet Daily News