High Representative Federica Mogherini today led what she described as "a long and frank, open exchange" by EU foreign ministers on future relations with Turkey.
The EU respects the result of the recent referendum, but expects that the constitutional changes will be carried out based on the Venice Commission recommendations and the observation of the OSCE/ODIHR, and in an inclusive manner, she said at a press conference after the informal EU foreign ministers' meeting in Malta.
"The European Union has a clear interest in a stable, secure, economically successful and democratic Turkey which is a relevant partner, a relevant player on many different issues. Our intention is not and will never be of doing anything that could damage Turkey or the Turkish people. On the contrary, we are seeking cooperation - constructive cooperation on many different things - for the benefits of our citizens respectively: all Turkish citizens, all European Union citizens," Mogherini said.
Turkey's EU accession process is not suspended, but there is currently no work ongoing on opening new negotiation chapters, she explained.
"If Turkey is interested in accession negotiations, it knows very well what it implies, especially in the field of human rights, rule of law, democracy, fundamental freedoms including media freedom, obviously the death penalty, and the respect of international law and the principle of good neighbourly relations," she said.
The EU will discuss with Turkish interlocutors the way forward, "from our side in a very frank, open, constructive, serious, but serene manner", stressed Mogherini, who also held a bilateral meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu in the margins of ministerial meeting.
The EU ministers had a working session with their counterparts from the candidate countries on the EU Global Strategy, and Mogherini debriefed them on Thursday's meeting of defence ministers.
The EU Ministers also discussed how the EU can help Europeans manage the effects of globalisation and gain the maximum benefits from it.
"We have exchanged in details about that, sharing the view that we have to use even more our common Union, to bring the European interest and agenda and values also on the global scene, using our European Union to strengthen our impact on globalisation," the High Representative concluded.
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