EU to seek meeting with Erdoğan on May 25, Germany's Merkel says

DAILY SABAH WITH AGENCIES
ISTANBUL
Published 29.04.2017 19:57
Updated 30.04.2017 15:47
This file photo taken on November 29, 2015 shows the Turkish national flag (L) and the EU flag ahead of a summit on relations between the European Union and Turkey and on managing the migration crisis in Brussels. (AFP Photo)
This file photo taken on November 29, 2015 shows the Turkish national flag (L) and the EU flag ahead of a summit on relations between the European Union and Turkey and on managing the migration crisis in Brussels. (AFP Photo)

EU leaders Donald Tusk and Jean-Claude Juncker will seek a meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on the sidelines of the May 25 NATO summit, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday.

Speaking after having attended an EU summit in Brussels, Merkel did not provide further details on the proposed meeting.

On Friday, EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini said the EU recognizes every country's sovereign right to choose its own form of governance, as Turkey did with the April 16 referendum, adding that it respects the outcome of the vote while stressing that the door for Turkey to join the bloc remains open.

Relations between Ankara and European governments have soured in recent months, after some EU member states canceled public appearances of Turkish ministers and government officials campaigning ahead of the referendum, based on poor excuses such as the inadequacy of parking lots and security concerns, while allowing pro-PKK events and Turkish opposition officials to rally for the "no" campaign.

However, a clear majority of Turkish citizens living in EU member states who participated in Turkey's referendum voted in favor of the 18-article bill that promises a wide range of constitutional changes.

Turkey applied to join the EU three decades ago and negotiations commenced in 2005. Among the 16 chapters of negotiations on issues ranging from capital movement to food safety, only the chapter of science and research has been provisionally closed.

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