German, Turkish ministers discuss better EU-Turkish ties as tensions ease in East Med



Turkish and German foreign ministers on Monday discussed recent advances between Ankara and Brussels as tensions calm down in the Eastern Mediterranean due to Turkey’s gas exploration activities in the disputed waters.

Turkey and the European Union have a positive atmosphere in relations since the bloc’s summit last December, but Ankara wants to see concrete steps to enhance relations, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said at a press conference with his visiting German counterpart Heiko Maas.

The dialogue between Turkey and the EU is getting better thanks also to constructive steps from Europe after the EU leaders’ summit, he said, noting that Turkish and EU officials would have a series of meetings in the upcoming days.

He urged the EU to realize its promises to Turkey such as visa liberalization to enable free travels of Turks in the EU, upgrade of Customs Union deal between Ankara and Brussels, along with updating a migration agreement with the union dated back to 2016.

In December 2020, the EU leaders initiated punitive measures against Turkey due to its dispute with Greece and Cyprus over rights to offshore resources in the Eastern Mediterranean. Brussels decided to postpone the measures until March 2021.

“We wanted to make this visit because of many positive signals recently,” Maas said on his part.

Germany wants the EU-Turkey relations “to improve and to deepen,” the minister said, welcoming a decision to resume talks between Ankara and Athens in a bid to ease tension in the Eastern Mediterranean.



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