Türkiye-EU ties crucial, says Turkish FM

The Turkish top diplomat has reiterated the importance of Türkiye-European Union relations and urged Brussels not to disrupt progress due to shallow political agendas of certain member countries.

Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan hosted Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares in Ankara late on March 20. The two counterparts discussed bilateral ties, Türkiye’s accession to the EU, the developments in Gaza and Ukraine and held a joint press conference.

Recalling that joining the EU as a full member is still Türkiye’s strategic target, Fidan said, “I reiterated that Türkiye’s EU accession process is too important to be left to the shallow political agendas of some countries.”

The minister reminded that Türkiye’s accession talks were interrupted a few years after the negotiations started in 2005 and stressed the need for a renewed political will from Brussels regarding the Turkish accession process.

Advancing talks on modernizing the customs union, visa liberalization, trade and cooperation in the field of migration would yield benefits to both sides Fidan stated but added that work on these issues are not serious enough.

The European Parliament elections will deliver another political landscape to Europe, the Turkish minister said, “We believe that relations between the European Union institutions and Türkiye will move forward with a more positive agenda, regardless of the parliamentary election results.”

 Ankara hails Spain’s stance on Gaza

Fidan hailed Spain’s stance on the ongoing Israeli attacks against Palestinians saying “Spain has been one of the countries in the EU that stood with the people of Palestine and pursued a principled position on Gaza. This praiseworthy stance of Spain also proves that the issue of Palestine is universal and beyond religious and cultural identities.”

On the bilateral front, Türkiye and Spain will hold 8th High Level Strategic Council meeting in June, the minister said. Defense industry will continue to be an area of cooperation through concrete projects, Fidan added.


 ‘The state of Palestine must be established’

For his part, Spanish Foreign Minister emphasized that future of peace in the region necessitates the “establishment of a permanent state of Palestine. The state of Palestine must be established permanently,” he said.

“Realistically, we want Palestine and Gaza to form a state together, with Palestine’s own corridor, but also with transportation to Jerusalem. That’s why we also want to organize a peace conference,’’ Albares noted.

On Ankara-Brussels dialogue, the Spanish minister expressed Madrid’s support to Türkiye’s EU accession process.

“We consistently support the dialogue between Türkiye and the EU,” he said, recalling the need to increase efforts for upgrading Türkiye-EU customs union agreement.