The President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and the President of the European Council Charles Michel expressed their unequivocal condemnation of any actions that would affect Greece and Cyprus, as Member-States of the European Union, after meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
In a press conference that followed the meeting, the two top EU officials stressed that the EU wants a dialogue with Turkey, as long as Ankara respects the interests of the EU member states, which the “27” will defend in any way, such as underlined President von der Leyen while calling on Ankara to respect individual rights.
“We discussed foreign policy issues and especially regional policy issues, such as the situation in Libya,” she said. According to her, all foreign fighters should leave the territory of Libya, and at the same time, the European Union has a strategic interest in developing cooperation and a mutually beneficial relationship with Turkey.
“I am deeply concerned that Turkey has withdrawn from the Istanbul Convention on Violence against Women. It is about protecting women and protecting children from violence. And that’s clearly the wrong signal right now. The European Union will never hesitate to point out further negative developments, and this also applies to unilateral action against EU Member-States, such as Greece or Cyprus,” said European Council President Charles Michel.
The three leaders also addressed issues related to the illegal flow of migrants to the EU, tackling the health crisis, and the protection of individual rights.
The EU expects Ankara to fulfill its commitments, which means that Brussels does not want to see unchecked refugees and migrants cross the Greek border again, and at the same time the EU called for the resumption of the refoulement process of all migrants to Turkey.