Belgium eager to help Turkey over Cyprus

Belgium eager to help Turkey over Cyprus

BRUSSELS - Anatolia News Agency
Belgium eager to help Turkey over Cyprus

Turkey’s EU Minister Bagis (L) is welcomed by Belgian Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Reynders (R) at the Egmont Palace in Brussels. AA photo

Belgium is ready to contribute to Turkey’s European Union accession talks and may host an international conference on the Cyprus issue to this end, the Belgian foreign minister said in Brussels May 22.

The Belgian Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Didier Reynders said Belgium was ready to make any contribution to add a fresh momentum to Turkey’s membership process and make progress in easing visa requirements for Turkish citizens. Reynders was speaking at a joint press conference with Turkish EU Minister Egemen Bağış, after meeting in Brussels.

Turkish diplomatic sources quoted Reynders as telling Bağış that the Cyprus problem had negative effects on many areas including Turkey’s EU bid, and that Belgium was ready to take the initiative and host an international summit meeting in the hope of resolving the Cyprus question.

‘No better NATO chief than Gül’

In response, Bağış said Turkey would consider such an initiative favorable if the two Cypriot communities, along with Greece and Britain, were invited as well.

Responding to a question on the rumor that the names of Turkish President Abdullah Gül and former French President Nicolas Sarkozy had been discussed for the position of the new NATO chief, Bağış said there could not be a better NATO chief than Gül, but “I don’t know if he would accept it.”

Belgium, turkey, cyprus