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Erdogan reaffirms EU commitment membership as ‘strategic goal’

Erdogan reaffirms EU commitment membership as 'strategic goal' President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reacts ahead of a meeting with EU Council President Charles Michel pose in Brussels, Belgium March 9, 2020. (Reuters Photo)
By Anadolu Agency
Jun 27, 2024 7:10 PM

During a joint press conference with Estonian President Alar Karis on Thursday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan underlined Türkiye’s will to join the European Union, labeling it as the country’s “strategic goal.”

“Our strategic aim is full European Union membership. For the EU to approach Türkiye from the same standpoint, it is for our shared benefit,” Erdogan stated.

Türkiye started her path towards EU membership in 1987. The nation has been a candidate since 1999; membership talks began in 2005. However, the Cyprus problem and member state resistance caused stagnation in development in 2007.

President Karis affirmed Estonia’s support for Türkiye’s EU membership and praised the ongoing dialogue between Türkiye and the EU. He noted the strategic importance of Türkiye for EU neighborhood security and highlighted Türkiye’s significant role in hosting the world’s largest refugee population.

Karis also addressed the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, emphasizing the need for international support for Ukraine. He acknowledged Türkiye’s critical contributions, including its condemnation of Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the facilitation of the Black Sea grain initiative, crucial for global food security.

Regarding the situation in Gaza, Karis stressed the escalating need for humanitarian aid and expressed Estonia’s support for the United Nations’ efforts in assisting Palestinian refugees.

Erdogan also spoke on urgent world and regional problems, stressing the continuous strife in Gaza. Israel’s activities since Oct. 7, 2023, he said had killed more than 37,000 Palestinians, endangering regional stability as well as world security.

Emphasizing that only a two-state solution can bring about permanent peace, the Turkish president exhorted the whole community to act.

Turning now to the crisis raging in Ukraine starting in February 2022, Erdogan argued for a diplomatic end. Emphasizing the importance of comprehensive communication to arrive at a just settlement, he cautioned that any project excluding Russia would be useless.

Political and territorial conflicts were among Türkiye’s many obstacles in her long-standing desire to join the EU. Together with opposition from other EU members, the Cyprus issue still presents a major challenge.

Two vital events influencing world geopolitics are the wars in Ukraine and Gaza. Erdogan’s remarks capture Türkiye’s active support of peaceful solutions as well as its larger geopolitical concerns in regional stability.

Last Updated:  Jun 28, 2024 10:04 AM