EU ready to engage with Turkey to enhance cooperation
The EU is ready to engage with Turkey in a "phased, proportionate, reversible manner," to enhance cooperation in areas of common interest, according to a European Council conclusion adopted by EU leaders on Thursday.
They met virtually to discuss foreign policy issues, including Turkey and the Eastern Mediterranean. The session was chaired by European Council President Charles Michel.
The EU leaders asked the Council to work on a mandate on the modernization of the 25-year-old EU-Turkey Customs Union, and noted that the EU is ready "to take further decisions at the European Council meeting in June."
The de-escalation of tension in the Eastern Mediterranean, resumption of talks between Turkey and Greece, and upcoming talks on Cyprus under the auspices of the UN was welcomed.
"Provided that the current de-escalation is sustained and that Turkey engages constructively, and subject to the established conditionalities set out in the previous European Council conclusions, in order to further strengthen the recent more positive dynamic, the European Union is ready to engage with Turkey in a phased, proportionate and reversible manner to enhance cooperation in a number of areas of common interest and take further decision at the European Council meeting in June," the document read.
They said that the EU is ready to launch "high-level dialogue with Turkey on issues of mutual concern" such as counter-terrorism, public health, and climate.
The representatives also urged the Commission to look for ways to improve people-to-people contact and mobility with Turkey, Anadolu agency reported.
According to the document, the 27-member bloc is committed to resolve the Cyprus dispute in accordance with the related UN Security Council resolutions, and the EU is looking forward to the resumption of talks under the auspices of the UN, in which the bloc will participate as an observer.