Erdogan: EU must act bravely to improve ties with Turkey

Erdogan: EU must act bravely to improve ties with Turkey

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan calls on the European Union to stop "sabotage of Turkish-European relations by hiding behind pretext of solidarity within bloc."

"This year the European Union should cast aside its "shortsightedness" and "act more bravely to improve ties" with Turkey, the nation’s president has said.

At the annual meeting with the ambassadors of the EU member states, Erdogan said relations between Turkey and the EU are being "sabotaged" by hiding behind a pretext of solidarity within the bloc.

He said the EU must work against such an approach, adding that some member states should "abandon their approach of solving their problems with Turkey in the corridors of the union."

Turkey has “worked towards establishing a dialogue and a diplomatic relationship with the EU. In addition to high-level visits and talks, we also took part in high-level dialogues on climate change, security, migration, and health care,” said Erdogan.

But these many positive steps by Turkey “did not evoke the response we had expected from the EU,” said the president, decrying the “stalling tactics” from the bloc it faced instead.

Saying that significant issues in the EU such as "establishing a joint migration policy, and tackling xenophobia and animosity towards Islam" were pushed aside, Erdogan said the bloc has "taken no noteworthy steps" on these pressing issues.

"Anybody who has an objective perspective to such problems acknowledges that Turkiye is a key country in overcoming such problems as the EU is facing," TRT World cited him as saying.

As a candidate country, Erdogan said Turkey continues its negotiations with the bloc in areas of "supply chains, migration, defence, xenophobia and Islamophobia, health, and energy."

"Turkiye plays a problem-solving role," he said, adding that EU relations with the country must “go forward."