EUROPE

Turkey expects solid support from EU against terrorism: FM

'It will benefit both sides to have close cooperation in every regard. It is our natural right to expect solid support from the EU,' says Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu

News Service Yeni Şafak

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said Ankara expects more support from EU member states in counterterrorism efforts at the High-Level Political Dialogue Meeting in Turkey’s capital Ankara on Thursday.

“Counterterrorism is important for both Turkey and the EU. Both Turkey and EU member states have been subjected to terror attacks. It will benefit both sides to have close cooperation in every regard. It is our natural right to expect solid support from the EU,” Çavuşoğlu said.

High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, EU Neighborhood Policy Minister Johannes Hahn and Head of European Union Delegation in Turkey Ambassador Christian Berger participated in the meeting.

Turkey-EU High Level Political Dialogue Meeting in Ankara
Anadolu Agency

Turkey-EU High Level Political Dialogue Meeting in Ankara

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu poses for a photo with EU foreign policy chief Frederica Mogherini and EU Neighborhood Policy Minister Johannes Hahn before the Turkey-EU High Level Political Dialogue Meeting in Ankara on November 22, 2018.

Turkey’s EU accession process

The foreign minister also said relations between Turkey and the EU as well as the accession process was discussed.

"We highlighted the strategic importance of Turkey-EU ties. It is no use to make statements excluding Turkey in the EU accession process or denying its candidacy," Çavuşoğlu said.

“It is in the interest of both parties to update the customs union. There have recently been interruptions in the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance on the EU’s side. These interruptions will not ruin the Turkish economy, but it will negatively impact the image of the European Union,” he added.

Turkey applied for membership in the European Economic Community (a precursor to the EU) in 1987. It became eligible for EU membership in 1997 and accession talks began in 2005.

High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini welcomed Turkey’s efforts to improve relations with the EU.

Visa liberalization

Çavuşoğlu said visa-free travel was also discussed during the meeting.

“There were seven out of 72 criteria left for visa liberalization. This fell to six. We also discussed what could be done in today's meeting. Hopefully, we will pass on to visa-free travel soon,” he said.

Khashoggi murder

A transparent and credible investigation into the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has not yet been completed, Federica Mogherini, the European Union's foreign affairs chief, said.

“Those responsible for the killing of Khashoggi should be held accountable,” she added.

Çavuşoğlu said the investigation was taking a long time and that the international community expects an international investigation.

Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist and columnist for The Washington Post, went missing after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

After initially saying he left the consulate alive, the Saudi administration admitted weeks later that he was killed there.

His body has yet to be returned to his family amid reports that it was chemically dissolved.

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