Turkey, European Union to meet after NATO’s May gathering in Brussels, says foreign minister
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Tuesday said a Turkey-EU summit was expected to be convened but added no date had been decided.
Speaking in live TV interview with Turkey’s A Haber news channel, Cavusoglu said the date of “a big summit” would be determined after talks with EU officials at an upcoming NATO meeting on May 24-25 in Brussels.
Cavusoglu said some EU leaders had demanded a meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the NATO summit. He also said some European governments had admitted they had been wrong on Turkey.
The minister said: “They understood that they were making a mistake. Some foreign ministers even asked me in Malta: ‘What should we do to correct our mistakes?'”
He said Turkey had no problems with common European values “as these are our values as well”.
“The only problem is the EU’s approach,” he added.
Earlier, Erdogan said Turkey would stop pursuing EU membership if the bloc failed to open new accession chapters.
“You [EU] have no choice but to open these chapters you have not opened so far. If you don’t, [then] goodbye,” the Turkish president said.
Diplomatic ties between Turkey and the EU have become strained, particularly over the failed July 2016 coup attempt.
Turkey’s government said it had not received an appropriate response from the EU to the coup.
Ankara is also unhappy over some European countries’ criticism of Turkey’s efforts against the PKK and the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO).
Turkey accuses FETO of orchestrating the coup attempt in which 249 deaths took place and thousands of people were injured.
EU foreign ministers dodge Turkey accession question
France and Germany stopped short of declaring an end to the possibility of Turkey one day joining the European Union on April 28, instead opting to try to reframe the Brussels-Ankara relationship by pursuing the possibility of broadening trade ties.
at the end of a summit in Valletta, Malta, held by EU foreign ministers and Turkey’s top diplomat Mevlut Cavusoglu (pictured), German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel told reporters he was “strictly against” annulling Turkey’s EU accession process, which was initiated in 2005.
“We can try to open new channels for negotiations,” Gabriel said, referencing the proposal that the EU should now move to broaden its trade ties with Turkey, granting Turkish companies more tariff-free export opportunities.
Gabriel added: “It does not improve things by cancelling something before we have something new to offer.”
“Nobody wants a break-up”
Following talks with Cavusoglu, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault told the waiting press: “Nobody wants a break-up with Turkey. It is up to them to say what they want.”
“How can we ignore Turkey?” Ayrault added, pointing to the Nato ally’s role in fighting terrorism directed at Europe from the Middle East and making good on its side of the deal with the EU to, in return for financial assistance, hold back flows of migrans eager to cross Turkey to reach the European continent.