Erdoğan to meet EU leaders in summit in Bulgaria
BRUSSELS – Reuters
Top European Union officials will meet Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Bulgaria on March 26 to discuss EU-Turkey relations as well as regional and international issues, an EU spokesman said on Feb. 6.
The meeting in the city of Varna will take place against a background of hostility between Turkey and the bloc and diplomats in Brussels acknowledged that the meeting had been agreed to only reluctantly by some on the EU side.
Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov will host Erdoğan as well as Donald Tusk, who chairs meetings of EU leaders, and the head of the bloc’s executive European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, for a dinner.
“This will be a good opportunity to jointly assess matters of mutual interest and recent developments in your country, including in the area of the rule of law and fundamental freedoms, which remain fundamental to the fabric of and prospects for the EU-Turkey relations,” the two top EU officials said in their invitation to Erdoğan.
Ties between Ankara and the EU have gone from bad to worse since a foiled 2016 coup in Turkey and political spat between the Turkish and European leaders especially from Germany and the Netherlands.