Brussels, 7 November 2012
EU-Turkey: With Minister Davutoğlu about new momentum in mutual relations
Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu in Brussels today to discuss the state of relations between Turkey and the European Union. It was their first meeting after the adoption of the Progress Report on Turkey and the Commission's Enlargement Strategy Paper. "We have focused on the follow-up to the Progress Report and discussed ways how to regain momentum in Turkey's accession process," Commissioner Füle said after the meeting and emphasized the crucial importance of the EU-Turkey relations: "On the one hand, the EU remains the main anchor for Turkey's economic and political modernisation. On the other, Turkey remains a key partner for the EU, considering the country's dynamic economy, its strategic location and its important regional role for the EU's foreign policy and energy security. Clearly, both sides will benefit from further development of these links," he said.
In the meeting with Minister Davutoğlu, Commissioner Füle also expressed the hope that the Commission would soon be able to hand over the Roadmap on visa liberalisation to Turkey, in parallel with Turkey's signature of the Readmission Agreement.
Regarding the Syrian crisis, the Commissioner welcomed Turkey's remarkable efforts in catering for the refugees and confirmed the EU's readiness to support the Turkish humanitarian effort. In discussing developments in Turkey, he raised concerns about reports that the health of the prisoners on hunger strike is deteriorating. Reiterating the Commission's call on the hunger strikers not to endanger their health and lives, he also called for efforts to prevent a further deterioration in the health of the prisoners in line with international human rights norms.