EU needs to take concrete steps on its relations with Turkey - Erdogan

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on the European Union to take action on its relations with Turkey, News.Az reports citing Daily Sabah. 

“It is about time the EU approaches its relations with Turkey in a strategic manner and takes concrete steps,” Erdogan said in a joint news conference with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez in the capital Ankara on Wednesday.

Erdogan said Turkey and Spain had already cooperated on the construction of a Spanish assault ship.“The first aircraft carrier was not a large-scale one. We have agreed on the construction of a large scale (carrier),” he said.“And perhaps, we will also enter (cooperation) for a submarine.”“There is so much we can do in the defense industry, including (concerning) armed and unarmed unmanned aerial vehicles,” Erdogan said without elaborating.

Meanwhile, the Spanish leader noted that his country supports Turkey’s EU accession and that relations between the two countries are at an “extraordinary” level. 

In agreements signed during the meeting, the two countries referred to their relations as “Comprehensive Partnership” and reaffirmed commitment to further enhance ties between the governments, parliaments, businesses, academia and civil society. 

A follow-up mechanism at the deputy foreign ministers’ level was established to monitor the status of relations and follow-up meetings would be held at least twice between summits. Both countries noted that Turkey’s relations with the EU are important and that the bloc would also benefit from the former’s accession. 

Meanwhile, as NATO allies, the two countries also discussed ways to contribute to regional and international peace and security and outlined their priorities for the upcoming NATO Summit, which is expected to take place in Madrid in June 2022. Regarding the Israeli-Palestinian issue, the two countries reiterated their commitment to a solution of the issue based on a two-state solution, while welcoming the recent engagement between the Israeli government and Palestinian Authority. They also pledged to continue to support all efforts to revitalize the peace process in the Middle East and assist the resumption of peace negotiations.

The two countries signed six memorandums to further boost cooperation, including in the fields of sports, renewable energy and energy efficiency, disaster and emergency management, water, labor and employment and polar sciences and logistics.


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