The EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in a text posted on the European External Action Service (EEAS) website covering the future of EU-US relations that he would work to carry out the mandate of the European Council in relation to Turkey.
In a section entitled ‘a new chapter in EU-Turkey relations?’ Borrell said:
"With EU Ministers, we agreed that there has been an improvement when it comes to the overall rhetoric used and the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean. At the same time, we have seen very worrying decisions domestically, notably the crackdown on the democratic opposition party HDP and the announced withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention – nomen est omen – protecting women’s rights.”
Borrel noted that he “had a long conversation with the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu after the FAC where we discussed these issues and the Cyprus question, following my recent visit there."
"We need to continue engaging actively with Turkey to ensure we get and sustain a more constructive attitude", Borrell notes.
"At the European Council, leaders welcomed the report that I presented as High Representative together with the Commission as the right basis for their conclusions and they agreed that given Turkey’s more constructive attitude recently we should aim for engagement in areas of common interests, from the functioning of the customs union to migration plus other areas of mutual interests. We do so through a phased, proportionate, but also reversible approach, should Turkey return to a path of confrontation. On this clear basis, I will now work actively on all relevant tracks, including the work on the Eastern Mediterranean Conference and the wider regional aspects", the HRVP stated.
"One key case where we need Turkey to act in a more constructive way is Libya. After ten years of conflict, the people of Libya have a new chance with the establishment of a unity government and the political transition underway. We all need to do our utmost to use this window of opportunity as I discussed with Prime Minister Al Debaiba who heads the new government of national unity. Turkey has been a major actor in Libya including through military intervention. Now we need to see what we as EU can do additionally including, if asked by the UN, to help monitor the ceasefire", he concluded.
Meanwhile, President Nicos Anastasiades said clarifications about the EU’s role at the informal conference of Cyprus set to take place in Geneva in late April may arise after the visit expected to be paid to Turkey by EU officials.