European Union leaders stressed the need to strengthen relations with Turkey regarding the management of the migration file.
This came in the closing statement of the Federation Leaders’ Summit, which was held, on Thursday, via video and France, due to the Corona pandemic.
The leaders of the Union countries expressed their readiness to start a high-level dialogue with Turkey on issues of common concern.
The statement affirmed the EU’s readiness to gradually and proportionately develop cooperation with Turkey.
In the statement, the leaders indicated that it is in the interest of the European Union to cooperate with Turkey and build relations on the basis of mutual interests with it, and for stability and security to prevail in the eastern Mediterranean.
They welcomed the de-escalation in the eastern Mediterranean, the start of talks between Turkey and Greece, and the planned meetings to solve the Cyprus issue.
They stressed that the Union is ready to develop cooperation with Turkey on issues of mutual interest gradually and proportionally, in order to enhance the positive dynamism that has emerged recently, provided that the current situation is preserved from de-escalation and that Ankara makes constructive efforts and adheres to the conditions set forth in the European Council results.
They also called on Turkey to avoid new provocations and to take unilateral steps that would violate international law.
They affirmed their determination to use the available tools and options to defend the interests of European Union member states and protect regional stability, should they face such a situation.
In parallel, European Union leaders called on the European Commission to work to modernize the customs union agreement with Turkey.
It also aims to ensure the effective implementation of the Customs Union Agreement on all its member states and to intensify discussions with Turkey in order to discuss the difficulties that exist regarding its implementation.
It should be noted that the Customs Union Agreement has been in place for a quarter of a century, that is, since it entered into force in 1996, and Turkey calls for extending the scope of the agreement to include agricultural products, services and e-commerce.
Under the agreement, customs duties in the trade of industrial goods were cancelled, the restriction of quantities of goods was abolished, and a common customs tariff for foreign countries began to be applied.