EU Sees Improvement in Relations With Turkey

The atmosphere between Turkey and the European Union has improved, the EU says even though Brussels remains very concerned about Turkey’s handling of human rights.

 

The EU welcomes the resumption of talks between Turkey and Greece on Monday over their clashing claims to the waters near them, EU foreign chief Josep Borrell said on Thursday at the arrival of Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Brussels. He has “seen an improvement in the overall atmosphere”.

The EU “fervently wants” for “a lasting de-escalation in the Eastern Mediterranean,” said Borrell. In that region, Turkey is at odds with Greece and Cyprus about the mutual maritime borders and the extraction of mineral resources from the sea.

Relations between the EU and Turkey, a NATO ally and still formally a candidate member, approached zero last year. The EU took punitive measures last month and warned it would not stop there if necessary.

Cavusoglu’s visit to Brussels does not mean that the EU is now satisfied with, for example, Turkey’s handling of human rights, says a spokesman for Borrell. Instead, it is aimed at getting the relationship back on track. And “we are not afraid” to comment.

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