EU membership strategic goal for Turkey, FM says

EU membership strategic goal for Turkey, FM says

Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 25

By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

Turkey's EU membership is a strategic goal of the country, the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in an interview with Trend.

Cavusoglu, who is on a visit to Azerbaijan, said that Turkey wants to take a place in this union of European countries, united around common laws and values, and to participate in this structure.

"Democracy, human rights, rule of law, the laws and values ​​of the EU are the main features of the reforms conducted by Turkey," he said. "First and foremost, for Turkey the EU is a kind of center, where these values are intensively protected ​​and develop in accordance with legislation."

Cavusoglu further noted that Turkey's main goal in the work to join the EU is to achieve the highest standards in terms of these laws and values.

"After the completion of the discussion term, the parties themselves will take the final decision on Turkey's EU membership. One of the important features for Turkey is to ensure the highest standards in every area, including the citizens' well-being," said the minister.

He also said Turkey's EU membership doesn't mean that the country would be indifferent to the developments in the region, or would pursue a unilateral foreign policy.

"Turkey will continue to realize the goals of the multilateral foreign policy, dictated by geographical location, historical and cultural ties of the country," said Cavusoglu.

He added that from this point of view, Turkey's accession to the EU will create an opportunity for the structure to get a big impact on even more extensive territory, what would affect the dynamics of EU's economy.

"This, in turn, would deprive certain forces, defending intercultural confrontation, of serious argument, what would contribute to regional and global stability and peace," Cavusoglu said.

Unfortunately, despite the efforts, the sides failed to achieve the desired results in the negotiations, according to Cavusoglu.

"The main culprit of the stagnation in the process of discussion is EU," said the foreign minister. "That's to say, adoption of a unanimous decision within EU is necessary for discussing the points on which negotiations should be held."

He added that however, the EU and the Republic of Cyprus hinder the discussion of eight and six chapters on Turkey, respectively.

France said in 2007 that it will hinder the discussion of five chapters, but in 2013, the country removed obstacles on one of the discussed chapters (Chapter 22: Regional policy and coordination of structural instruments), said Cavusoglu.

During the high-level meetings held with the French side, the country said it will not hinder Turkey's accession to EU and in the case of necessity, it will be possible to open new chapters for discussion, said Turkish foreign minister.

"However, political obstacles that we faced in the process of accession of the Republic of Cyprus to EU without the settlement of the Cyprus issue, affect the discussion between Turley and EU," said Cavusoglu.

He added that the Turkish side always emphasizes the necessity of continuing the negotiations with EU as a technical process.

"Moreover, Turkey continues taking decisive steps to fulfill its obligations and to meet the criteria for membership," said Cavusoglu.


Follow the author on Twitter: @rhafizoglu

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