Turkish FM denies rift between policies of Turkey and EU
High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini (L) and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu (R) speak during a joint press conference after their meeting in Ankara on Dec. 8. AFP PhotoThe EU’s foreign policy chief did not raise any criticism or proposals for the alignment of Turkey’s foreign policy with the EU, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has said, in reply to remarks by Federica Mogherini.
Despite Turkey's “very important contributions” to the EU’s security and defense policies, the EU had not included Ankara in the decision making processes of those policies, Çavuşoğlu told reporters on Dec. 9.
“If there should be a reproach, it should be from Turkey,” he added.
Speaking during a press conference at the EU delegation in Ankara, Mogherini said on Dec. 8 that the EU candidate nation had signed up to less than a third of the bloc’s recent foreign policy positions, compared to 80 percent in the past.
“We need to improve the alignment on foreign policy and security policy, it’s never been so low and this is a problem for the European Union, though it is mainly a problem for Turkey,” she told a news conference after talks with the Turkish leaders.
Mogherini also said the EU would not be drawn into a "battle with Russia" for influence over Turkey.
“It would be good if in the future we could create more areas for cooperation rather than competition [with Russia] but Turkey is definitely out of this game, if there is a game in this sense,” she said.
A high ranking visit by Mogherini, Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn and Humanitarian Aid Commissioner Christos Stylianides comes a week after Russian President Vladimir Putin’s trip to Turkey, during which Moscow announced it was scrapping the South Stream gas pipeline project and named Turkey as its preferred partner for an alternative.