Erdogan tells Merkel Turkey wants to turn over new leaf

Erdogan tells Merkel Turkey wants to turn over new leaf


Ankara: The Turkish President said that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told German Chancellor Merkel on a teleconference on Friday that Turkey wants to negotiate with the European Union.

The EU leaders’ meeting held in Brussels last week decided to draw up a list of targets for Turkey’s sanctions against Ankara’s “unilateral actions and provocations” in the eastern Mediterranean. Turkey is considered to have abundant energy resources.

“President Erdogan during the meeting said Turkey wants to open a new page in its relations with the EU, as he thanked Merkel for her constructive contributions and efforts on Turkey-EU relations,” the presidency said.

Erdogan said there was a new “window of opportunity” for Turkey-EU relations to strengthen but some countries were “trying to create a crisis” that would damage “this positive agenda”, it added in a statement.

He did not name which countries but Turkey has been at loggerheads with EU member states Greece and Cyprus — backed by France — in the eastern Mediterranean.

Turkey and Greece previously agreed to discussions over the disputed waters but nothing concrete has taken place.

Erdogan accused Greece of withdrawing from the talks, but insisted that Turkey’s attitude was “constructive.”

He also called for an update to the 2016 agreement to reduce immigration to Europe in exchange for financial aid, which he said will be “the key to a positive agenda.”

The European Union said on Thursday that it has allocated the entire 6 billion euros promised in the agreement to Turkey.

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