The main topic of the EU dispute with Turkey was the Cypriot community official, who briefed the press in Brussels, in view of the meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council, which will be held in person on Monday in Luxembourg.
As the official said, “we have completely different views on the issue. And I discussed it with my counterpart in Ankara where I was 10 days ago. We insist on the solution under the UN and the proposal for two states in Cyprus is not acceptable “.
Asked specifically about Turkey, the EU official said: “We now have a strong transatlantic relationship with the Biden government and of course the issue of Turkey and the Eastern Mediterranean is one of the issues we are together on, exchanging notes and having a common goal. Our policy is to work with Turkey and improve our relationship. The positive agenda is on the table and we want to move on to new chapters of cooperation “.
He clarified, however, that “the issue of conditionality is intended to make Turkey cooperate, because we know what has happened in the past with the actions in the Eastern Mediterranean. “Now the situation is good, but it can get worse.”
He spoke of a “comprehensive approach to ensure that positive co-operation continues”.
“So the integrated approach also concerns the tools to manage differences and disagreements. “We will also see the content of the discussion of the High Representative's visit to Antalya”, he noted.
He reiterated that “a key issue of disagreement with Turkey is the Cyprus issue. We have completely different views on the subject. And I discussed it with my counterpart in Ankara where I was 10 days ago. We insist on the solution under the UN and the proposal for two states in Cyprus is not acceptable “.
“Beyond that, we will discuss a very broad agenda with Turkey. I have no information on the refugee issue. As for the airport in Afghanistan, it has not yet been “closed” that Turkey will take over. We believe that the political operation of the airport in Kabul can ensure international flights and cooperation for a good future in Afghanistan. “We have a common approach to the issue with Turkey, we are positive that Turkey will take over,” he concluded.
Asked to clarify the meaning of Borrell's presence at the conference in Antalya at the time of Tatar's participation in an unrecognized capacity, the official clarified that the EU does not recognize this alleged capacity and “we told the organizers that we are not committed”.
However, he clarified that “at the same time, Tatar is the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community. That's why we talk to him. Because it is a very important position for us. “No question is asked about recognition or legal issues, but we are talking to the head of the Turkish Cypriot community.”
Belarus, Iraq and Latin America – The Caribbean will be the main items on the agenda of the EU Foreign Affairs Council, which will be held in person in Luxembourg on Monday, the EU official told a news conference in Brussels ahead of the meeting. Turkey is expected to be discussed in the wake of Borrell's current visit to the country and ahead of the European Council (although the text of the conclusions will also be considered by the General Affairs Council on Tuesday).
The Community official announced that the Ministers will have breakfast with the leader of the opposition in Belarus (Tikhanovskaya) on Monday morning, while he noted the deterioration of the situation in the country, the repression implemented by the Lukashenko regime and the movements after the hijacking. He spoke of more than 480 political prisoners and announced an agreement and the adoption of sanctions on the Ryanair flight. He said the ministers would consider targeted economic sanctions, and stressed that the EU had at the same time adopted a package to support the future of a democratic Belarus, with 3 billion euros, once democracy was restored.
He went on to discuss the situation in Iraq with Foreign Minister Hussein, which he described as “fragile” and stressed that “we want to work with the Iraqi authorities”, announcing that an election observation mission would be held soon. The situation in Latin America will then be discussed.
Regarding the part of the agenda where “current issues” are discussed, the official noted the results of Borrell's visit to Indonesia, the Serbia-Kosovo dialogue (3 days ago) and the Belgrade-Prix high-level meeting. , while stressed that the High Representative is currently in Antalya, Turkey. He briefed Borel on his meeting with Foreign Minister Tsavousoglu and stressed that current issues would be discussed and that Turkey “is an important key neighbor”. He also pointed out that “the relationship between Greece and Turkey has improved in recent months”, but pointed out as a negative point the way in which Turkey is involved in the Cyprus issue, explaining that the solution he proposes (except for UNSC) can not lead to an agreement.
Finally, he referred to the forthcoming debate on Lebanon, described the emerging developments in the Middle East (Israel – new Prime Minister) and the prospects for the peace process.