EU summit is ‘chance to reset relations’ with Turkey – Erdogan spokesman
“I believe the EU summit has a chance to have a reset in Turkey-EU relations. It is an important opportunity,” Ibrahim Kalin, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman, told Reuters on Monday. “And I see this willingness on the part of many EU member countries.”
Kalin warned EU officials that they “also have to understand that they cannot expect Turkey to do everything,” adding that “it must be a mutual process.”
EU leaders will discuss relations with Ankara at their summit during the first two days of October. Turkey and the EU have long been at loggerheads over a number of issues, including migration and Ankara’s involvement in Syria and Libya. Cyprus had also urged the EU to impose sanctions on Turkey over what it sees as Ankara’s violation of Cypriot sovereign rights in the Eastern Mediterranean.Also on rt.com EU sanctions on Turkish shipping firm over Libya embargo are biased – Ankara
Last week, Ankara and Greece said they are resuming exploratory talks over contested maritime claims, which were halted in 2016. Tensions between Turkey and its neighbor, EU member Greece, flared after Ankara last month sent a vessel with seismological equipment to search for hydrocarbons in disputed waters in the eastern Mediterranean. During the Greece-Turkey standoff, their warships collided as Ankara sent its Oruc Reis seismological survey ship into disputed waters. However, Athens and Ankara agreed to restart exploratory talks after Turkey recalled the Oruc Reis.
A date for the Turkey-Greece talks has yet to be decided, but Kalin said the talks would focus not just on issues of continental shelves and maritime limits, but on islands and air space. He also expressed hope that political consultation and military-to-military talks could resume.
“In all of these three tracks we believe we will make some good progress very soon,” the spokesman said. He noted that diplomatic efforts could produce a “more positive atmosphere” in relations with the EU and, in particular, with France. Paris says its frigate on a NATO mission tried to inspect a Tanzanian-flagged cargo ship suspected of smuggling arms to Libya on June 10, but was harassed by Turkish navy vessels. Ankara denies this, accusing the French frigate of aggressive actions.
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