On Monday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken held his first contacts with his EU counterparts as he virtuallt attended the EU Foreign Affairs Council (FAC).
The US diplomat was invited by EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell.
Of particular importance is the fact that Blinken took part in the FAC where Euro-Russian relations were discussed, an issue that is high on the agenda of the Biden administration.
According to a State Department statement, Blinken stressed the United States’ commitment to repairing, revitalizing, and increasing the level of ambition in the US-EU relationship. He stressed the importance of working closely with the EU and the Member States to address global challenges based on common values such as democracy, human rights and pluralism. During the FAC, Blinken, High Representative Borrell and the EU Foreign Ministers discussed a common response to pressing global issues such as the COVID-19 pandemic, Iran, China and climate change, with the US Secretary of State welcoming the EU decision to impose sanctions on Russia under the human rights sanctions regime, in response to the actions taken against Aleksey Navalny and his supporters.
On the other hand, on the teleconference with the US Secretary of State, the FAC announced that the Council exchanged views on the substantive agenda of EU-US cooperation on key global, foreign and security policy issues.
According to the official announcement, the discussion highlighted the intention of the parties not only to deepen the EU-US partnership, but also their intention to form a common global leadership to fight the pandemic and address the recovery, to mitigate climate change and to ensure the promotion of democratic values. The discussion touched on international opportunities and challenges such as relations with China and Russia, Iran and security and defense.
According to exclusive information from IBNA, Turkey’s relations with the EU and the US were also discussed.
The US Secretary of State stressed that Turkey is an important partner that must remain in the West and not be tied to the chariot of Moscow. Although Turkey is provoking multiple crises in its foreign policy and many issues of human rights and democracy are being raised within it, Blinken noted that there should be open channels of communication and joint discussion, expressing readiness for incentives and bolstering of relations, provided of course that concrete results are first yielded.
There have been similar reports from other EU foreign ministers on Turkey, criticizing Turkey’s behavior.
Antony Blinken expressed his satisfaction with the exploratory talks between Greece and Turkey and the need for Turkey to reduce the tension in the Eastern Mediterranean. The US Secretary of State referred to the US-backed regional cooperation in the Eastern Mediterranean, with special reference to the 3+1 cooperation between Israel, Cyprus and Greece with the US. /ibna