Turkey, EU Association Council to meet in March

DAILY SABAH
ANKARA
Published 02.02.2019 00:25

Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said Friday that Turkish-EU ties would further normalize in the upcoming period, under the term presidency of Romania, adding that the Turkey-EU Association Council will meet on March 15.

"In this period, we believe that our relations with the EU will further normalize. The contacts will continue," Çavuşoğlu said at Gymnich, a two-day informal meeting of foreign ministers of EU member states and candidate countries.

He also highlighted that Romania is also planning to hold a summit similar to the one held previously by Bulgaria in Varna. The last summit between the EU and Turkey was held on March 26, 2018, in the Bulgarian port city of Varna with the attendance of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and high-level EU officials.

Stressing that the planned Turkey-EU Association Council meeting will be held in Brussels, Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor Meleşcanu stressed that Romania will give strong support to Turkey's accession talks in the bloc. He added that the functioning of the association council will be discussed in the meeting.

Romania took over the EU's rotating presidency for the first time since joining the bloc in 2007, succeeding Austria. EU countries take turns occupying the presidency for six-month terms. The position involves setting the bloc's agenda and acting as a diplomatic go-between among the 28 members. To expedite the EU process, Turkey launched the Reform Action Group (RAG) meeting, and the fourth meeting was hosted by Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gül on Dec. 12, 2018, in Ankara after three years to evaluate the ongoing efforts to fulfill reforms and accelerate Turkey's EU process, particularly in judicial adjustments.On the sidelines of the Gymnich meeting, Çavuşoğlu also held a working meeting with his German counterpart Heiko Maas yesterday. Bilateral ties between Ankara and Berlin were discussed in the meeting.

Previously, Çavuşoğlu met with local Turkish businesspeople on Thursday in Bucharest. Turkey's Ambassador to Bucharest Füsun Aramaz attended the meeting along with representatives from the Foreign Economic Relations Board's Turkish-Romanian Business Council, the Turkish Business people's Association of Romania, the Turkey-Romania Investment Association and members from the Turkish Airlines office in Bucharest.

In the meeting, Çavuşoğlu encouraged participants to boost bilateral trade and investments. Following the meeting, he wrote on Twitter Thursday, "Romania, where over 15,000 Turkish companies operate, is our largest exporting market in the region. We talked about opportunities to increase our trade volume with representatives of Turkish companies." Çavuşoğlu also met with his Croatian counterpart Marija Pejcinovic Buric on Thursday. Çavuşoğlu said on Twitter that they discussed bilateral ties and planned high-level visits.

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