UPDATES WITH REMARKS FROM TURKISH FOREIGN MINISTER, TOP EU OFFICIALS
By Busra Nur Bilgic Cakmak and Jeyhun Aliyev
ANKARA (AA) – Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Thursday met with EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen as part of his working visit to Brussels.
Cavusoglu also had close door meetings with EU Commission Vice-President Margaritis Schinas, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson, and Oliver Varhelyi, Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement.
"Brief exchange with Turkish Foreign Minister @MevlutCavusoglu on next steps in EU-Turkey relations," said von der Leyen on Twitter after meeting with Cavusoglu.
"Dialogue is essential, but we also expect credible gestures on the ground. We will work with all our Member States to fulfill the mandate of the #EUCO," she added.
"Welcomed Minister @MevlutCavusoglu in @EU_Commission today. Constructive discussions about the opportunities and challenges ahead. Migration, security, people to people contacts and @EUErasmusPlus cooperation at the heart of a renewed EU-Turkey agenda. Time for positive steps," Schinas wrote on Twitter.
Earlier, the top Turkish diplomat also met with EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell.
Describing 2020 as a "complicated year" for the EU-Turkey relations, Borrell said on Twitter: "Today, I received @MevlutCavusoglu to discuss the way forward – to look for mutual strategic interests, the development of a cooperative + reciprocal relationship anchored in common values and principles."
In a Twitter post, Cavusoglu said they discussed many issues.
"Wish to turn a new page with #EU. 18 March Statement should be revised with all elements. Must work together for a positive agenda. Discussed the preparatory work of the visits by Presidents of EU Council and Commission. @JosepBorrellF."
Later in the evening, Cavusoglu posted another tweet, touching upon Turkey's expectations from the EU.
"Must revitalize our accession process. Expecting visa liberalization and modernization of Customs Union. Should increase cooperation in fight against terrorism & irregular migration. Should fight against rising racism, discrimination and Islamophobia in Europe all together," he said.
Cavusoglu arrived in Brussels on Wednesday evening for a two-day visit for talks with top EU and NATO officials.