In his remarks after Tuesday’s Council of Ministers, Turkish President Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan referred to his meeting with EU Council President Charles Michel and EU Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen. The items on the agenda were discussed in detail during the meeting. According to Erdogan, the meeting focused on the Customs Union, visa liberalization, the Eastern Mediterranean, the Aegean and the Cyprus issue but also on the March 18 agreement, as well as on current developments, marking a new turning point in the Euro-Turkish conflict. relationships.
As the Turkish President noted, “in addition to these common issues, we provided a thorough briefing on the issues raised by our interlocutors. As we have always said, Turkey has always been honest and transparent in its relations with the EU. From the very beginning we have been taking one step at a time to meet the conditions for full EU membership. The fact is that we are well ahead of the countries that have submitted an application after us in terms of democratic and economic criteria, which nonetheless became members of the Union.
He went on to add that “in the context of fulfilling our role under the March 18 Agreement, we prevented an influx of illegal immigrants which would lead to a series of severe political and economic crises in Europe. Reactions against democracy and the rule of law, in the face of social unrest in European countries, have once again highlighted the double standards against Turkey.”
In addition, Erdoğan stressed that they always make sure to reiterate to their interlocutors that the accusations against Turkey, who is facing many threats, which can not be compared to those in Europe, especially in the fight against terrorism, lack a basis for principles.
At the same time, he noted that the commitment to the goal of full EU membership and the corresponding obligations is maintained and that “All we ask from the EU is to be subject to the same procedures and practices as other countries, whose accession has been green-lit. I would like to repeat this, emphasizing the following fact: Turkey’s efforts on issues such as democracy, human rights, the rule of law and economic confidence and stability are primarily aimed at increasing the level of rights, freedom and prosperity of its own citizens. We would be much happier if we carried out this process together with the EU. Otherwise, we will continue to do what is best and most beneficial for our citizens.”
Referring to the visit and hosting at the Presidential Palace of a delegation from Libya including Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dibeybe of the Government of National Unity and a significant part of his cabinet, he commented that “To us, Libya is not just another country. We care about Libya living in peace and prosperity as much as we care about our own survival, sharing a relationship of almost 500 years. We are building our future with the strength we draw from our common history with Libya. We have never stopped standing by our Libyan brothers against attacks towards the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political unity of this country. Thanks to our support, we have ensured that Libya returns to the path of stability and peace.”
He also noted that, during his meeting with the Libyan Prime Minister, he reiterated that he would provide all possible support to the Government of National Unity in order to govern the whole country, stating that “We will continue to assist our brothers in every way so that Libya can heal its wounds, rebuild, grow and look to its future with confidence.” He added that he expected from the international community to abandon the coup and stand by Libya’s legitimate leadership.
In addition, the Turkish President announced the new measures against the coronavirus to take effect from Wednesday afternoon, and which will continue for the first two weeks of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Finally, the Turkish President referred to the teleconference held last week with the leaders of the member states of the Turkish Council, where they discussed ways to strengthen cooperation on various issues such as health and trade.
“There are many countries seeking to join the Turkish Council, in addition to the [current] full members and observer members. We see that it is time to turn this institution into an international organization,” Erdogan said, noting that the council needs stronger institutionalization in line with its development and vision. /ibna