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EU Commission Aims At Honest Conversations with Turkey

BRUSSELS – Under the fresh chairmanship, the European Commission is planning to hold “honest negotiations” with Turkey, EU body president said on Wednesday.
The EU has important issues to discuss with Turkey, including respect for international law, Ursula von der Leyen, the new president of the European Commission told reporters after the College of Commissioners’ first meeting.
Von der Leyen also stressed on the importance of the 2016 EU-Turkey Refugee Agreement.
She confirmed that Vice President Margaritis Schinas is responsible for promoting the European Way of Life, and Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson will be traveling to Turkey on Dec. 6 to discuss migration with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
After last month’s diplomatic tensions, Erdogan talked about the possibility of suspending the 2016 deal after EU condemned the Turkish military operation in northern Syria, the visit is supposed to strengthen cooperation between the EU and Turkey.
“I want it to be a geopolitical commission,” said von der Leyen on the foreign and trade policy of the EU.
She declined to say whether the EU is prepared to announce import tariffs from the US but called for a well-prepared meeting with the transatlantic partner and better coordination between the EU’s external and internal policies.
She also expressed hope that Albania and North Macedonia would soon be given the opportunity to begin accession negotiations with the EU, but acknowledged that France had legitimate grounds for seeking revision of the accession process.
Nonetheless, she called the result of the October EU leaders’ summit “a tactical failure,” where French President Emmanuel Macron did not give the green light to begin talks with the two Balkan countries on accession.
Von der Leyen also shared her commitment to a “European Defence Union” in her lecture of the college conference, emphasizing the importance of investing in the defence capabilities of the union so that the EU can protect itself if necessary.
The first official visit of Von der Leyen outside the EU will take place in Ethiopia. She’s going to travel to Addis Ababa on Friday to consult with African Union leaders.
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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