By Merve Aydogan
ANKARA (AA) – Relations between Turkey and the EU are better in the wake of a bloc summit last December and the visit of two top EU officials to the capital Ankara this week, said Turkey’s foreign minister on Thursday.
Speaking to reporters, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also downplayed brief confusion over the seating arrangements at Tuesday’s meeting between the EU officials and Turkey’s president, saying that Turkey had satisfied all the protocol requirements of the EU side.
At a joint press conference with his Kuwaiti counterpart Ahmad Nasser Al Mohammad Al-Sabah at the presidential complex, Cavusoglu said relations between his country and the bloc now are on a much more positive track since this week’s visit and in the wake of an EU summit last December.
Bilateral visits and communications are ongoing, and important meetings and consultation mechanisms between Turkish and EU officials are continuing, he said.
"Through our meetings with the delegations of both sides, each clearly stated their opinions about bilateral talks. I would like to state that these meetings have been very beneficial," Cavusoglu said.
-Tuesday meeting of top EU officials, President Erdogan
This Tuesday, Charles Michel, head of the EU Council, and Ursula von der Leyen, head of the EU Commission, visited Ankara and met with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as part of diplomatic efforts to improve relations between the bloc and Turkey.
Cavusoglu dismissed misguided accounts concerning the seating at the meeting at the presidential complex.
Noting that protocol units of both sides met prior to the meeting, Cavusoglu said the seating arrangement was made in line with EU requests.
"In the latest bilateral talks, which took place at the presidential complex, the European Union side’s requests were fulfilled," he said.
"I would like to state that the EU's requests were satisfied and fulfilled. This was their wish," Cavusoglu stressed.
Some had criticized the seating arrangements at Tuesday's meeting, where the Turkish president and the EU Council head sat down in separate chairs while von der Leyen was initially left standing.
She was then offered a seat on a couch, with Cavusoglu also sitting down on a separate couch opposite her.