Cyprus seeking changes to EU’s Turkey statement

Consultations continued Wednesday on the content of a joint statement by the members of the European Council on Turkey, with Cyprus proposing an overhaul of the initial draft during a meeting of the permanent representatives of the member-states. 

Among other things, it suggested deleting the references to positive measures (customs union, high-level dialogue, people-to-people contacts) and the multilateral conference on the eastern  Mediterranean, proposing instead to replace them with an expression of the EU’s deep concern over Ankara’s continuing failings regarding the rule of law and fundamental rights.

Meanwhile, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu described his talks yesterday in Brussels with U.S. counterpart Antony Blinken, in their first face-to-face meeting since Joe Biden was elected U.S. president, as “constructive.” Blinken reiterated Washington’s opposition to Ankara’s purchase of Russian S-400 defence systems.

(A version of this article was originally published by the Kathimerini and reproduced by permission.)