Turkey is not just a partner, but more than that it is a NATO ally, said Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya in an exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency.
“It is not just that Turkey is a partner; Turkey is a NATO ally, not just a friend. In NATO, you have no friends, you have allies; she is much more than a friend”, Laya said, adding that “she is someone with whom you share something as important as your own security. This is what Spain shares with Turkey. It shares a missile array we have here in this country, that helps protect this country from third countries”, Laya added.
The Spanish Foreign Minister also said that there was concern on the part of the EU following some moves taken by Turkey in Libya, the Eastern Mediterranean and the issue of immigration.
“I am of course convinced that Turkey also has sensitivities in the steps taken by Europe, so this is not a blame game. It is a game of understanding what the other side’s perspective is. Only after you understand, after you have heard the opposite side, will you be able to find a way forward”, she continued.
Laya noted that Turkey was the first non-EU country she visited after the COVID-19 crisis.
“It was a promise I made to [Turkish] Foreign Minister Cavusoglu. During the pandemic, we talked very often on the phone. We were in communication about supplies, the repatriation of nationals, as well as many issues unfolding in the region, whether in the Eastern Mediterranean, Libya or Syria, so I promised to come and visit him in Ankara”, she added.
Laya said her and Cavusoglu discussed bilateral issues, health issues related to the COVID-19 crisis and the EU-Turkey relations.
“It was important because for some time now, there has been some escalation of tensions and when there are tensions, it is good to sit down, talk, have a dialogue, understand and, if possible, try to resolve the disagreements that sometimes exist between the countries in a peaceful way”, she stressed.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Spain will visit Greece, on Tuesday where she will have a meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece Nikos Dendias. /ibna