Turkey’s presidential spokesman held an online meeting Wednesday with the envoys of member countries in the EU.
According to a statement by Ibrahim Kalin’s office, Turkish-EU ties, regional developments and the fight against terrorism were among the issues discussed in the meeting.
In a detailed assessment on the current situation of relations, Kalin remarked that Turkey and EU should act in solidarity and cooperation against the challenges brought by regional crises and in essential problems including terror, immigration, Islamophobia, xenophobia and racism.
Kalin also called the EU to open new chapters in Turkey’s accession negotiations into the bloc, as well as to take action in updating the Customs Union Treaty and a visa-free travel arrangement for Turkish nationals to the EU.
Underlining that Turkey is willing and ready to take part in a negotiated resolution to its bilateral problems with Greece and in the Eastern Mediterranean region in general, he urged the EU to support and contribute to Ankara’s efforts to turn the Eastern Mediterranean into a “sea of peace.”
Amid recent tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean, Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration have upped their pressure on other EU members to impose sanctions on Turkey.
To date, the EU’s current term president, Germany, and most EU members have been reluctant to take such action.
Turkey, which has the longest continental coastline in the Eastern Mediterranean, has rejected the maritime boundary claims of Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration, stressing that these excessive claims violate the sovereign rights of both Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots.
Ankara has sent seismic research ships in recent months to explore for energy resources in the Eastern Mediterranean, asserting its own rights in the region, as well as those of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
* Writing by Ahmet Gencturk
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