The European Union’s High Representative for the Foreign and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, announced that the Union will hold talks with Turkey on the outstanding issues in the region.
In his book, “European Foreign Policy in Times of Corona” published on 20 March 2021, Borrell said with regard to the eastern Mediterranean region, we will seek dialogue with Turkey on the outstanding issues.
He stressed that Turkey will continue to be an important partner in many issues, and this should help us get out of the dynamic of dangerous confrontation with this great neighbor.
Borrell stressed that Turkey wants to be seen as a country that cannot be excluded from sharing energy resources in the eastern Mediterranean, and as a country with a political solution in Libya.
Last year, the most important foreign policy topics of the bloc were Turkey and the eastern Mediterranean region, and today it is still clear that the European Union will not be able to achieve stability on the continent unless it finds the right balance in its relations with Turkey and the Russian Federation, the European official said.
He added that when he took office, he knew that restoring relations with Turkey would be one of the difficult issues.
On the Cyprus issue and the Turkish-Greek relations, he said that it was at the basis of Turkish-European relations, stressing that these issues should not be delayed any longer.
Regarding Turkey’s foreign policy, Borrell said that Turkey has become a regional power to be reckoned with and has achieved undeniable successes, but unfortunately, in some very few cases, Turkey’s international agenda does not align well with the European Union’s agenda.
Turkey’s strong relations are in the interest of the European Union
As for Turkey’s candidacy for membership in the European Union, Borrell said that Relations cannot be one-way, as the European Union must also show Turkey that it will be welcomed as a member of the family if it abides by the agreements. This is where the positive agenda comes into play. Agreed in the 2016 joint statement a vital role.
On March 18, 2016, in Brussels, the Turkish government and the European Union reached 3 related agreements with the Union regarding immigration, re-admission of refugees, and the abolition of entry visas for Turkish citizens.
Borrell highlighted the importance of Turkish-European relations for both sides, saying that forming a strong cooperation relationship with Turkey will contribute greatly to European stability, and likewise, it will be difficult for Turkey to find a better partner than the European Union.
Europe in the face of new empires
In his book, Joseph Borrell referred to Russia, China, and Turkey as “new empires,” and said: “In order to be able to negotiate and settle disputes peacefully with those empires, the European Union needs to learn the language of power.”
While defending international law and the rights of EU members, Borrell emphasized the importance of “finding common ground with this great neighbor and partner (Turkey)”.
At the same time, he noted that the European Union could not succeed in this “unless Turkey also wanted that and acted accordingly.”