Turkey ready for cooperation with US administration regardless of who is elected: Turkish FM
Turkey is ready for close cooperation with the U.S. administration whoever the American voters choose as their president, and want to take steps on existing bilateral problems, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Nov. 6.
“No matter who is elected, we will approach the new American administration the same way we approach any country,” the minister said at a press conference on the sidelines of the South-East European Cooperation Process (SEEPC) meeting.
“We see our relationships above parties or above politics,” the minister said, elaborating on the U.S. presidential elections. “We want to take sincere steps to the existing problems. Of course, we would like to see the return of these sincere steps from the U.S. administration.”
The Turkish government’s friendship with Donald Trump manifested itself in the most difficult moments, he added.
Meanwhile, addressing separately, Çavuşoğlu said Turkey, a country which has integrated with the EU in many areas, hopes the bloc to be successful in line with its founding ideals and also wants the EU to “unite” rather than being “discriminative.”
Turkey does not approve a “distinction of ‘Western Balkans and Turkey’ that has been created through EU’s enlargement policy and ignores Turkey’s candidate status,” Çavuşoğlu said, addressing the SEEPC meeting.
“As can be seen in the discussions on Tirana and Skopje, some EU members are putting the EU’s enlargement process under mortgage due to their national agendas and bilateral problems. In fact, this is what has happened in our country for 15 years. Full membership to the EU is our strategic priority. However, the EU must also be visionary and stick to its principles and promises,” Çavuşoğlu stated.
“Trends such as populism, racism and Islamophobia, which are rising in Europe, have eroded the values represented by the EU itself,” the minister also said.
Chairing the meeting in Turkey’s Mediterranean province of Antalya, Çavuşoğlu, said the union was the pioneer for change and development for many regional countries in the integration process, especially in the 1990s and the beginning of 2000s.
He welcomed the EU’s decision to start “belated” accession negotiations with Albania and Macedonia.
The minister said that for around 25 years, Turkey has taken significant steps to improve regional cooperation and solidarity through SEECP.
“We aim to strengthen this cooperation during our presidency that we have undertaken for the third time,” he added.
“We have set our priorities by considering our common challenges such as brain drain, intra-regional connectivity, migration and trade,” he said, adding that these are the common problems that need common solutions.