Netherlands will welcome Turkey as an EU member state, Dutch FM says

Netherlands will welcome Turkey as an EU member state, Dutch FM says

Netherlands will welcome Turkey as an EU member state, Dutch FM says

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu met with Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans in Ankara. AA Photo

Opening negotiation on chapters 23 and 24 with the European Union will engage Turkey in the debate over the rule of law, visiting Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans has said.

Timmermans voiced his personal support for opening the chapters but said his government and Parliament would have the final word on the issue.

“Because I believe there are arguments to be said in favor of doing this, because it will engage Turkey in the debate on issues having to do with rule of law. I believe it will be good to engage in these subjects,” he said at the sixth meeting of the Turkey-Netherlands Bilateral (Wittenburg) Conference on Feb. 14.

“The Netherlands will be one, once negotiations have finished, who gladly welcome Turkey among the EU member states. It’s only fair that the process that started with the intention of making Turkey a member of the EU should lead to its membership if we can conclude the negotiations in a positive way,” the Dutch minister said.

Turkey has gone through an amazing transformation in the last 10 years, Timmermans added.

“At some stage, Turkey will have to end its negotiations with the EU and Turkey will then make the choice whether to become a member of the EU,” he said.

Timmermans also stressed that his country was “honored” to send Patriots to Turkey to protect the Turkish-Syrian border.

“Turkey is taking care of our security with great effort. We are very grateful for those contributions for our collective security,” he said.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, for his part, expressed Turkey’s expectation of support from the Netherlands on the opening of negotiation Chapters 23 and 24, along with support for new rounds of talks for the reunification of Cyprus.

On the other hand, when asked about Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s recent remarks that normalization with Israel was not possible without written protocol on the lift of the embargo on Gaza, Davutoğlu did not elaborate on the issue, but said “negotiations are continuing.”

Turkey and Israel have narrowed the gap on compensation talks and the parties approached a certain level, he said.

Following an agreement on compensation talks, “other issues regarding Gaza and Palestine” will also be on the agenda, Davutoğlu said.

“Turkey has the determination to do whatever is required for the recovery of the humanitarian situation in Gaza and the West Bank. We will continue our principle stance to enable these means,” he added.