Brussels, Belgium – European Union (EU) High Representative for Foreign Relations and Security Policy Josep Borrell said that after Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu’s contacts in Brussels last week, the EU and Turkey agreed to continue the positive momentum in recent weeks. “We have noted the important messages and gestures that the Turkish authorities have sent since the last EU Council meeting.” said.

Borrell, referring to the exploratory talks between Turkey and Greece, argued that the settlement of maritime disputes between the two countries can be found on the basis of the UN Convention on the law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Borrell said it is equally important that the UN-led Cyprus talks resume as soon as possible, and that the EU is ready to hold talks as an observer, as before.

Asked if the decision taken at the EU leaders ‘ summit in December 2020, which provides for an addition to the list of restrictive measures for Turkey, is still valid, Borrell recalled that they have made all decisions with political considerations, and said: “technical units are working on this. The list isn’t ready, but it’s not thrown aside. The work continues., “he said.

Asked what the messages the EU has received and given during Foreign Minister Cavusoglu’s visit to Brussels last week, Borrell said:

“We have reviewed all the issues that have put our relations in trouble in 2020. Both sides agreed on a better way to overcome them, share concerns, work together and better neighbourly. I am happy to say that the issues that poisoned our relations last summer and autumn have stopped today. Turkish ships and search efforts are currently absent. Both sides agreed to continue this momentum and use it positively to reach agreements.

Today, preliminary negotiations between Turkey and Greece (exploratory Aegean and Mediterranean talks) began. We hope that negotiations on the settlement of the Cyprus problem will also begin in mid or late February 2021. All the issues in 2020 were challenging. For a good atmosphere, calm is needed on all issues, such as Cyprus, maritime jurisdictions.”