European Commission: We have a strategic interest with Turkey

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The European Commission said that it is clear that the European Union has a strategic interest in developing a more cooperative and mutually beneficial relationship with Turkey in all possible areas.

This was stated in the Commission’s report entitled “The State of Political, Economic and Trade Relations between Turkey and the European Union,” announced on Wednesday during a joint press conference between European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell and European Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Affairs Oliver Varhelyi.

The report aims to reveal elements that would improve relations between the European Union and Turkey in light of the rapidly changing geopolitical and security environment.

The report stressed the need for “continuing efforts to resolve differences of fundamental viewpoints with Turkey.”

It recommended the need to focus on “high-level dialogue meetings in order to ensure the strengthening of all possible areas of cooperation.”

The report explained that the current situation in relations between the two sides “allows for constructive steps to be taken.”

It pointed out that there is room for progress provided that positive efforts continue and the European Union’s concerns are addressed.

The report stated that “Turkey has made efforts to stop the dynamics that lead to escalation of tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean.”

It added, “Turkey has shown a constructive position in bilateral relations with various member states of the European Union.”

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The report, titled “High-Level Dialogues between Turkey and the European Union,” stated that more dialogues on agriculture, science, research, technology and innovation are scheduled to take place in the coming months.

It continued, “Reactivating the high-level dialogues between the European Union and Turkey on the economy, energy and transport, which were suspended in 2019 on the condition that Turkey continues to refrain from all illegal exploration activities in the Eastern Mediterranean and all other actions that do not respect sovereignty and sovereign rights.”

It continued, “This includes resuming the meetings of the Partnership Council and the high-level political dialogue at the ministerial level, holding more high-level sectoral dialogues on climate, health, migration, security and agriculture in addition to research and innovation, and continuing to establish a new high-level trade dialogue to discuss more areas of cooperation.”

The report stated that “Turkey has not yet completed the criteria related to visa liberalization.”

It pointed out that “the European Union Council and the Commission continue to provide technical assistance to Turkey to meet the remaining conditions.”

The report also recommended that Turkey “accelerate its efforts to stop the flow of irregular migration into the European Union by eliminating smuggling networks and strengthening border protection.”

It suggested “inviting the Turkish Foreign Minister (Hakan Fidan) to formal and informal meetings of EU foreign ministers when necessary, and encouraging Turkey to increase its contributions to the defense mission and operations and the common EU foreign policy.”

The report explained that “the energy sector has strategic importance in relations between the European Union and Turkey.”

It pointed out that Türkiye aims to strengthen its role as a regional center for energy trade.

The report stated that “Turkish energy policy stems from its concerns related to energy security and the need to increase domestic energy production.”