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Erdoğan: The European Union is a priority for Turkey

Erdoğan reiterates that Turkey wants 2021 to mark a new beginning in relations with the EU, for which Ankara seeks the help of Spain.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan reiterated this past weekend that the European Union is a priority for Turkey and that the future of this country lies in Europe, despite recent disagreements and even tensions with some countries of the European bloc.

During a videoconference held on Saturday with the president of the European Commission to address relations between Ankara and the 27, Erdoğan and Ursula von der Leyen discussed various regional current affairs and also ways to improve bilateral relations; in this sense, the Turkish president conveyed to the European representative that the EU is extremely important in Turkey’s future plans.

Erdoğan also reportedly stressed the importance of regularly holding again summits between Turkey and the EU as well as resuming the dialogue at the highest level. During the conversation, the Turkish president reiterated Ankara’s desire to open a new page in 2021 in relations with the European Union, ensuring that 2020 was a lost year in this regard due to the obstacles created by some member countries.

However, the Turkish president conveyed to the president of the European Commission that this situation is unsustainable, both because of the close ties that bind Turkey and the EU and because they share a common geographical area.

Turkey seeks Spain’s help to improve its relations with the EU

After several years of deterioration in bilateral relations, in recent weeks the Turkish government has adopted a policy of rapprochement with Brussels; Foreign Affairs Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Friday during a visit to Madrid that Turkey wants to start a new page in relations with the EU with the help of Spain and other allied countries that are committed to Turkey’s integration into Europe.

“In 2020, due to some problems that we have suffered with some member countries (of the EU), there have been occasional tensions in our relations with the EU, something that is not a situation that we want,” Çavuşoğlu said during a joint press conference with his Spanish counterpart, Arancha González Laya.

“But, with the position of Spain and other (EU) countries, they have opted for dialogue instead of tension, and the most recent summit has prepared the ground for it,” added Turkey’s foreign minister, who plans to visit Brussels on January 21 to meet with the head of European foreign policy, Josep Borrell. Tomorrow Çavuşoğlu is also scheduled to hold a meeting in Ankara with all the ambassadors of the European Union.