European Council President Charles Michel has reiterated the European Union’s position on Turkey’s unauthorized drilling, where “the EU stands in full solidarity with Cyprus,” during a meeting he had on Saturday with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, in Istanbul.
According to a written statement issued by the Council after the meeting, “the Cyprus settlement talks are essential for addressing some of the divisive issues”.
“The European Council President also expressed his concern on the recent memorandum of understanding between Libya and Turkey”, the statement reads.
More specifically, on January 11th, Charles Michel met with Erdoğan of Turkey in Istanbul.
“Both Presidents agreed to establish direct contact on a regular basis and whenever events dictate, in order to improve the relationship, in the interest of both parties”, the Council announced in writing.
The Presidents had a discussion on how the EU and Turkey can work together to de-escalate the situation in the Middle East and in Libya. They also addressed the EU-Turkey relationship.
“Both share an interest in preventing a new cycle of violence in the Middle East through de-escalation and dialogue”, the statement issued says.
Concerning Libya, President Michel “welcomed the constructive language of President Erdoğan`s Joint Statement with President Putin on a ceasefire and support for the Berlin process”. “There is a need for negotiated, political solutions”.
Furthermore, “the EU understands that Turkey has security concerns with regard to North-East Syria but insists on compliance with international law. The EU supports the UN-led political process in Syria.
Michel and Erdoğan “had an open and useful dialogue on the relations between the EU and Turkey”.
“It is important for both to cooperate on issues where they have shared interests but also to openly address those that divide them”, the statement reads.
Finally, “the migratory pressure Turkey continues to face is vast and the EU acknowledges the strain that Turkey’s hosting up to four million refugees has out on the country. In the context of the EU-Turkey Statement, the EU continues to support projects for refugees and host communities. Schools and hospitals are being built; refugees are getting cash assistance and we are helping with migration management”.