Global developments necessitate reinforced Turkey-EU ties: EU minister

Global developments necessitate reinforced Turkey-EU ties: EU minister

Global developments necessitate reinforced Turkey-EU ties: EU minister

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Turkey’s EU Minister Ömer Çelik has stated that developments that threaten global security necessitate a “reinforced relationship” between Ankara and Brussels. 

His statement came a day after the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) re-opened monitoring process on Turkey, and it also touched on his visits to Brussels and Strasbourg in the coming weeks. 

Çelik is set to meet with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini, as well as Council of Europe head Thorbjorn Jagland. His meetings will likely follow President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s talks with Juncker and European Council President Donald Tusk in late May. 

Despite problems between the two sides, Çelik stressed that global developments made reinforced Turkey-EU ties necessary, citing the tension in East Asia between the United States and North Korea as well as U.S. President Donald Trump’s questioning of the role of NATO and support for Brexit. 

“This is such a period in which we should strengthen Turkey-EU ties,” Çelik said. 

In order to do so, both sides need to have a “sound discussion” on relations, he added, stressing the need for a high-level summit that would take place only after German elections in September. 

“It’s no longer possible to pursue our relationship through this rhetoric. We have to come to a conclusion on our relationship through either a summit or other mechanisms, because we are not an ordinary country in Europe. A careful and respectful language should be used on Turkey,” Çelik said. 

In the meantime, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, speaking to reporters in Uzbekistan, slammed the PACE’s decision on Turkey and repeated that Ankara will have to review its cooperation with the Assembly.