EU countries attach importance to ongoing peace process: Turkish EU minister
PARIS – Anatolia News Agency
Turkey’s EU minister Egemen Bağış also met with French Interior Minister Manuel Valls during a bilateral visit in Paris on Feb. 20. AA photo
European Union members are attaching great importance to the peace process currently ongoing between the Turkish government and the jailed leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Turkey’s EU minister said during a bilateral visit in France on Feb. 20. “[France and EU countries] give importance to the process [aimed at] the laying down of arms. They attach importance to the increase of serenity inside Turkey,” EU Minister Egemen Bağış told reporters after meeting with French officials.
France’s new Socialist Party government had announced last week that it would assist Turkey in opening one of the five chapters once blocked by Paris for Ankara’s long-stalled EU membership talks. The announcement was welcomed by Turkish officials despite the fact it hinted that the other four chapters would remain deadlocked.
Bağış said that he had discussed with his French counterpart Bernard Cazeneuve the 22nd chapter on regional policies that France agreed to unblock and exchanged opinions on the other chapters waiting to be opened.
Turkey’s EU minister also met with French Interior Minister Manuel Valls and discussed the Jan. 9 murder of three Kurdish women in Paris. “He assured me that they were pursuing a lot of effort for a quick and transparent trial and were sharing all the information [they found] with the Turkish intelligence and security officials,” Bağış said. Both countries agreed to increase their cooperation in the fight against terrorism, he added.
Meanwhile, a French diplomat told French media that they were expecting a gesture from Turkey in exchange for having lifted their veto on one of the five chapters blocked by Paris. Cazeneuve has vowed to adopt a more positive position regarding Turkey and expressed his expectation that Ankara would bring more momentum to the cooperation among the two countries, the official said.