EU wants closer ties with Turkey

The European Union has recently announced its intention to deepen cooperation with Turkey and iron out differences.

2 mins read
EU wants closer ties with Turkey

Foreign ministers of the European Union (EU) countries met in Brussels, the capital of Belgium, the current EU Presidency, for an informal meeting.

At the end of the meeting, where one of the agenda items was relations with Turkey, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell and Belgian Foreign Minister Hadja Lahbib made joint statements to the press.

“All member states agree on closer relations with Turkey”

EU High Representative Borrell continued:

“We need to engage with Turkey, taking into account the Cyprus issue, to avoid conflicts and increase cooperation. We need to engage more with Turkey, work in areas where our interests overlap and avoid issues that distance us from each other.”

On a question on whether the EU is ready for progress on issues such as visa liberalization, Borrell said: “Everyone agrees that we need to build a stronger relationship with Turkey, but this will depend on the course of developments. I don’t know exactly what will happen on the visa issue, it was not discussed today. But the general feeling is that we need to interact more positively with Turkey, even to solve the Cyprus problem, which is at the top of our agenda because Cyprus is a member.”

“Turkey is an increasingly important strategic partner on the global stage”

“Turkey is an increasingly important strategic partner on the global stage,” said Belgian Foreign Minister Lahbib.

“Turkey is an indispensable partner,” Lahbib said, adding that they would like to discuss differences on issues such as the rule of law, democracy, independence of the judiciary and Cyprus in the near future.

Lahbib said that they will invite Turkey to an event in April to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the 2004 enlargement of the EU, when 10 countries joined the EU.


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