EU, Turkey to reopen dialogue after “complicated” year

High Representative of the European Union (EU) for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu vowed on Thursday to resume dialogue to give the EU-Turkey relationship a new chance in 2021.

Cavusoglu met Borrell to discuss ways to ease bilateral tensions after a year that Borrell qualified as “complicated” and that Cavusoglu called “problematic.”

Calling each other as “friends,” both top diplomats showed willingness to create a “positive atmosphere” to improve the bilateral relations.

The EU-Turkey relationship deteriorated last year over issues such as Cyprus settlement, Turkey’s drillings in disputed areas, and migration. In December, the European Council issued a joint declaration condemning Turkey’s actions.

Since then, both sides have noted willingness from the other party to improve the relationship.

The Turkish foreign minister, who is on a visit to Brussels, will also meet with President of the European Council Charles Michel, representatives of the European Commission and of the European Parliament, as well as Belgian foreign minister Sophie Wilmes and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.