EU should correct its east Med mistakes to improve ties with Turkey: Top diplomat

EU should correct its east Med mistakes to improve ties with Turkey: Top diplomat

EU should correct its east Med mistakes to improve ties with Turkey: Top diplomat

The European Union has to correct its mistakes on its position over the ongoing row in the eastern Mediterranean and engage in a constructive dialogue with Turkey, Turkey’s top diplomat has said, suggesting that the entire Europe will suffer if it fails to do so.

“The EU has to correct its mistake [in the Mediterranean]. The entire Europe will benefit from our cooperation if it can do so. Otherwise, the whole of Europe will suffer,” Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said at the Parliament Budget Commission while defending his ministry’s 2021 budget on Nov. 24.

Çavuşoğlu explained that the recent tension between Turkey and Greece in the Mediterranean and the Aegean Sea effects Ankara’s relationship with Brussels because some countries including Greece and Greek Cyprus are trying to turn it into an EU matter.

“We are expecting that the EU sees its mistakes and the value Turkey’s membership will add to the EU. We believe a more fruitful relationship can be established in this case. In our contacts with the EU, we are emphasizing on our willingness to be in a constructive dialogue,” he said.

The minister said Turkey was not alone as there are member countries who think within the same line.

The statements of the Turkish minister comes after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Turkey sees its future in Europe and believes it can build a future with the EU, a move regarded as a will to repair broken ties with Brussels.

Turkey ready for talks with Greece

On the ongoing tension in the Mediterranean, Çavuşoğlu reiterated Turkey’s determination to defend its rights and interests in the region, saying, “As a country with the longest shore line in the eastern Mediterranean, it’s impossible for us to accept to be confined to its coast.”

“No initiative excluding Turkey and Turkish Cypriots can succeed. Our works with the EU for a conference on the east Mediterranean are ongoing. We have always wanted to be in dialogue. We want to resolve our problems with Greece through dialogue, including the resumption of the exploratory talks,” he suggested.

Efforts to be exerted for ties with US

On Turkish-American ties, the Turkish minister stressed that Ankara hopes to reconcile with the incoming Joe Biden administration despite existing bilateral problems.

Ties with the U.S. offer both challenges and opportunities and Turkey is trying to act in coordination with the U.S. despite disagreements in some regional conflicts, including Syria and Libya, he said.

The continued support of the U.S. to the PYD in Syria, its inaction against FETÖ’s presence on its lands, ending the Turkish participation to the F-35 aircraft program and threats of sanctions on the Turkish purchase of S-400s are among issues that cast a shadow on bilateral relations, Çavuşoğlu suggested.

“Elections were held in the U.S. We will exert the necessary effort to put back our relations onto a positive track in a bid to serve the strategic interest of both countries,” he added.