EU says Turkey’s accession negotiations to remain frozen

No new chapters will be opened and no current chapters will be closed in the European Union’s accession talks with Turkey, the Council of the European Union decided in its general secretariat meeting on Tuesday.

In the outcome document, the Council said:

“Turkey’s foreign policy has been increasingly colliding with the EU priorities under the Common Foreign and Security Policy, including regarding Libya and Operation IRINI. In line with the shared interest of the EU and Turkey in regional peace and stability, the Council expects Turkey and all actors to contribute positively to the resolution of regional crises.”

The Council commended Turkey for hosting four million refugees while expressing “serious concern” and deep worry on the “backsliding in the areas of democracy, rule of law, and fundamental rights”.

It also “welcomed the de-escalation in the Eastern Mediterranean”, while expressing an expectation that Turkey “unequivocally commit to good neighbourly relations, international agreements and to the peaceful settlement of disputes”.

“Turkey must stop all threats and actions that damage good neighbourly relations, normalise its relations with the Republic of Cyprus and respect the sovereignty of all EU Member States over their territorial sea and airspace as well as all their sovereign rights,” the Council said, pointing to a bicommunal, bizonal federation with political equality for the solution in the Mediterranean island.

The council also “condemned Turkey’s unilateral actions” in partially reopening Cypriot ghost town Varosha for settlement. In November, Greece had called for clarification from the EU where its red line on the matter was.

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