EU chief stresses Türkiye’s role for stability in Eastern Mediterranean

European Council President Charles Michel expressed Brussel's willingness to collaborate constructively with Türkiye, citing shared interests in fostering a stable environment in the Eastern Mediterranean region.

"Our message is crystal clear. Primarily, we seek to engage with Türkiye in a constructive manner as we share a common interest in ensuring stability in the Eastern Mediterranean," Michel conveyed to a gathering of journalists in Brussels on April 29.

"Therefore, we believe that further progress in the U.N.'s process regarding the Cyprus issue is crucial in this regard," he said.

The EU Council held a strategic debate on Türkiye late on April 17 and the decisions taken were reflected in the joint statement.

Following the statement Ankara criticized the European Union for linking Türkiye-EU ties to the Cyprus question, describing the move as another example of Brussels' lack of strategic vision on Türkiye and global developments.

The European Union must get bigger, otherwise, it might face risk of a "new Iron Curtain" along its eastern flank, he said.

"Enlargement is vital for the future of the EU because without enlargement [there is] a risk for a new Iron Curtain," Michel noted.

"It would be extremely dangerous if you would have an unstable neighborhood with a lack of prosperity or lack of economic development. These are our common interests — of candidate countries and the EU — to make progress, to speed up," he added.

Michel gave his interview to mark the 20-year anniversary of the EU's last expansion, in 2004, when it took in 10 countries.

The EU in December decided to open adhesion negotiations with Ukraine and Moldova, and gave candidate status to Georgia, which earlier Bosnia had...

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