EU, Turkey share common interest on neighborhood: Borrell

BRUSSELS- Anadolu Agency
The <a title="EU" href="/search/EU">EU</a> foreign policy chief on Dec. 4 said <a title="Turkey" href="/search/Turkey">Turkey</a> and the bloc share common interests on developing a good neighborhood.

Addressing the Rome Mediterranean Dialogue Forum, Josep Borrell said that at the last European Council meeting on Oct. 1, EU leaders decided to seek positive engagement with Turkey and evaluate the situation according to whether more positive approach would be seen from the Turkish side.

“There are not very much positive signals that came from Turkey during these months both in Cyprus and on the drillings [in the Eastern Mediterranean], the talks between Greece and Turkey has not been developing” Borrell noted.

He stressed that the EU has to take steps in light of the developments.

“I am strongly convinced that Turkey and European Union has a common interest on developing a good neighborhood. Turkey is there and will still be there [in the region]” he said.

“And it [Turkey] has regional ambitions. And we have to understand that Turkey also is hosting 3.5 million refugees from Syria that we have to help to take care of them. And we are doing, and we will have to continue doing that because the help is not to the Turkish government but to the Syrian refugees,” he added.

Borrell said they need to ask for better engagement to resolve territorial water disputes, to respect the sovereign rights of EU members, and to seek a better understanding of how to share gas field revenues, adding that Turkey is also asking for it.

The EU foreign policy chief said it is time to look at whether Turkey and the bloc can have a better partnership and neighborhood.

“If it is not possible, the European Union Council will have to take the decision that the only European Union can take. Because, the sanctions regime is a matter of the member states.

“So, let’s see what we can do [at the] next European Union Council [meeting]. I cannot advance the result of the discussion and just preparing it and offering alternatives,” Borrell added.

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