Turkey says EU meeting postponed for more comprehensive content

Turkey says EU meeting postponed for more comprehensive content

Emine Kart ANKARA
Turkey says EU meeting postponed for more comprehensive content

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and EU Comissionner Stefan Füle met in Brussels April 1 on the sidelines of the NATO Foreign Ministers summit. AA Photo

A scheduled meeting between senior officials from Turkey and the European Union has been postponed by mutual will in order to garner more comprehensive content in the meantime, Turkish officials have said.

A senior Turkish diplomat, speaking with Hürriyet Daily News on April 4, ruled out remarks by an EU diplomat who suggested that it was the EU who preferred the postponement due to concerns that such a gathering could further strain ties in the wake of concerted criticism from the bloc toward Ankara over the latter’s increased authoritarianism.

“The meeting was scheduled to take place in early April. Then we postponed it to April 15 and our latest decision is to hold it in June,” the Turkish diplomat, speaking under the customary condition of anonymity, told the Daily News.

“We made such a decision because there is not enough material for the moment. If we had held the meeting during these days, we would be speaking about the same things we had already discussed. In the meantime, there will be mobility. For example, we will activate a working group for Chapter 32 on Financial Control, which is part of the Positive EU-Turkey Agenda,” the diplomat, involved with EU affairs, elaborated.

The Positive Agenda was endorsed by the EU Council in December 2011, aiming at supporting and complementing the accession negotiations through enhanced cooperation in a number of areas of joint interest.

“There is no tension. Business as usual,” the diplomat underlined.

His remarks came as a response to the EU diplomat who said the relationship between Ankara and Brussels, which is becoming increasingly estranged, would go from bad to worse if the meeting of the Turkey-EU Association Committee went ahead as planned and that’s why it has been postponed.

The Turkey-EU Association Committee, which is held at a bureaucratic level, prepares the agenda of the high-level Turkey-Association Council meeting.

The Turkish diplomat sounded optimistic when he said the Turkey-Association Council meeting could be held later in June, after holding the Committee-level meeting, or in July.