Brussel, Belgium – European Union (EU) High Representative for Foreign Relations and Security Policy Josep Borrell, relations with Turkey will be decided at the EU leaders ‘ summit on December 10-11, stating that “we are approaching a turning point in our relations.” said.
Borrell held a press conference after a meeting of EU foreign ministers. After the election in the United States, they discussed issues such as EU-US relations, Belarus, Libya, Afghanistan, and the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh, Borrell said, “the situation with Turkey has deteriorated.”
Recalling that the EU stands in solidarity with Cyprus and Greece on the Eastern Mediterranean, Borrell argued that Turkey’s recent actions and statements on Cyprus are contrary to UN resolutions and trigger tension.
“It is necessary to understand that Turkey’s behavior increases separation with the EU. I’m sorry to say this, but that’s what EU foreign ministers think. In order to return to the positive agenda, as we wish, Turkey must change its approach. The EU Council will decide the destination next month. Time is running out and we are approaching a turning point in our relations with Turkey.”
Asked if the EU had an option in relations with Turkey, such as giving time for the resumption of UN-sponsored Cyprus negotiations, other than a positive agenda or sanctions, Borrell stressed that it is difficult to predict the decision that will come out of the EU leaders ‘ summit in December.
Borrell said he was continuing his work to organize an international conference on the Eastern Mediterranean, arguing that the decision to come out of the December summit depends on Turkey’s position. Borrell noted that so far they have not seen a positive signal, and developments such as the opening of the closed Marash are seen by EU foreign ministers as negative developments.
“Our position paper on the conference on the Eastern Mediterranean is ready. We have consulted with the ambassadors of the countries that should have been invited.” said.
As for Belarus, Borrell said, they will expand the EU’s sanctions package. Borrell reminded that the EU, which has imposed sanctions on more than 50 Belarusian officials, including Alexander Lukashenko, after the August election in Belarus, has so far targeted people, adding that some organizations and companies will be added to the package.
Despite the sanctions, the Belarusian administration continues to pressure the opposition, Borrell said, noting that most EU member states want a new package of sanctions to be prepared, they will focus on some sensitive economic points.
Noting that they had the opportunity to discuss US-EU relations for the first time with foreign ministers after the US election, Borrell pointed out that a strategically self-sufficient EU would also be in the interest of the US. Borrell said that the EU’s strategic autonomy had been discussed, but that the EU would remain Washington’s best partner. Borrell said the US would invite him to a meeting of EU foreign ministers when the new Secretary of state is announced.
Borrell stressed that an aid conference on Afghanistan will be held next week, and the EU will continue to support the peace process in the country, and on Nagorno-Karabakh, they are ready to contribute to the work of the OSCE Minsk Group for a permanent solution in the region.
Borrell said that Libya was also discussed at the meeting, and they saw encouraging developments towards the turning point for solving the problem, but they did not underestimate the challenges. Borrell stressed that Libyans deserve the support needed for a solution without foreign intervention.
Addressing the conflict in Ethiopia, Borrell said that the situation was of serious concern, that there was a danger of a humanitarian crisis, recalled that they called for dialogue and said that they were ready for support.