* Photo: Anadolu Agency (AA) – Archive
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The relationship between the European Union (EU) and Turkey is “approaching a watershed moment” and is further deteriorating, according to a statement from the EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell.
High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission Josep Borrell spoke at the EU Foregn Ministers meeting yesterday (November 19).
He has indicated that the relationship between the EU and Turkey will be decided in the European Union Council on December 10-11.
As reported by the state-run Anadolu Agency (AA), Borrell has noted solidarity with Greece and Cyprus and indicated that “the recent actions and a statement by Turkey related to Cyprus, were considered contrary to the United Nations (UN) resolutions and further igniting tensions.”
“We also consider that it is important that Turkey understands that its behavior is widening its separation from the EU. Sorry to say that, but that’s what the Foreign Affairs ministers consider it. In order to return to a positive agenda, as we wish, we will require a fundamental change of the attitude on the Turkish side,” he has said and added:
“In order to return to a positive agenda, as we wish, we will require a fundamental change of attitude on the Turkish side. The European Council will provide crucial direction on this next month. Time is running, and we are approaching a watershed moment in our relationship with Turkey.”
Other highlights from Borrell’s speech are as follows:
‘No positive signs from Turkey’
“I cannot anticipate the decision of the leaders at the European Union Council. My task is not to anticipate what they are going to decide, but to prepare their decision.
“The Council tasked the President of the Council [Charles Michel] and the President of the Commission [Ursula von der Leyen], the two highest authorities, to prepare and present to the Council a palette of options in order to increase positive engagement and to take measures in case that this positive engagement would not be possible – depending on the attitude that Turkey was going to show since the last European Union Council until the next European Union Council.
“I am supporting the work of the two Presidents and at the same time, I am working on a task that was specifically addressed to the High Representative, which is the organisation of an international conference on Eastern Mediterranean issues, and this is what I am fully devoted to.
“I cannot anticipate which are the measures the two presidents will present to the European Union Council. They will depend on the options that the Turkish behaviour will prompt [us] to follow.
“For the time being, unfortunately, there are no positive signals sent by Turkey and the last events in Cyprus, in Varosha, in Famagusta, have also been considered as very negative [as stressed] in my statement immediately after and also by the Foreign Affairs Ministers today.
“On the preparation of the Eastern Mediterranean conference, we already have a position paper that has been consulted with the ambassadors of the countries that should be invited to participate in this conference.” (EKN/SD)