Erdoğan discusses bilateral relations with German, Italian leaders
ANKARA- Anadolu Agency
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan spoke to Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi over the phone, according to Turkey’s Communications Directorate on March 23.
During the phone conversation, Erdoğan said the 2016 Turkey-EU migration deal needs to be updated as part of a positive agenda, adding a new deal is a basis of revitalizing the positive agenda trying to be created in Turkey-EU relations.
It is necessary to carry out this work with a holistic approach, including visa liberalization, updating Turkey’s 1995 Customs Union with the EU, and opening the negotiation chapters, he said.
Turkey sides with stability and cooperation in the Eastern Mediterranean and Aegean, Erdoğan said, adding that his country supports the establishment of a cooperative relationship between the two sovereign and equal states on Cyprus.
Also, Erdoğan congratulated Draghi for being elected Italy's new prime minister.
Speaking on Turkey-Italy relations, Erdoğan said strengthening the strategic partnership between the two countries will contribute to the stability and prosperity of the common geography.
The duo also discussed the steps to boost the bilateral ties and regional issues.
The countries are committed to the goal of expanding the bilateral trade volume to $30 billion, and they want to continue the momentum they have achieved, especially in the defense industry, he said.
Touching upon Turkey's EU membership, Erdoğan stressed that full membership is the country's strategic goal, and said he believes that Italy will continue its strong support to Turkey in this issue.
Erdoğan also noted the significance of fair responsibility and burden-sharing in the matter of asylum seekers.
Erdoğan, Merkel talk over phone
Meanwhile, Erdoğan and German Chancellor Angela Merkel over the phone discussed regional issues and steps to improve Turkey-Germany and Turkey-EU relations.
We have witnessed all together the positive feedback of promoting dialogue on Turkey-EU relations. Merkel's personal contribution played an important role in the formation of this atmosphere, Erdogan said.
He also went on to say that an effort should be made to avoid spoiling the current situation by some EU member countries which do not want to understand the value of EU-Turkey relations.
He expected the report to be submitted to the EU Summit to reflect proposals for the future of Turkey-EU relations with an objective and constructive perspective in the direction of the positive agenda.
Turkey sides with the cooperation in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean, he underlined, saying Greece should be encouraged to continue the dialogue efficiently.