EU/Turkey Association Council, 51st meeting: extracts from the joint press conference by Eamon Gilmore, Irish Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Štefan Füle and Ahmet Davutoğlu, Turkish Minister for Foreign Affairs
Type: Summary of press conference
Brussels - Council/Justus Lipsius
On 27 May 2013, Eamon Gilmore, Irish Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ahmet Davutoğlu, Turkish Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Štefan Füle, Member of the EC in charge of Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, held a press conference on the EU-Turkey Association Council.
On this occasion, the EU reaffirmed the importance attached to its relations with Turkey, a candidate country and a key partner considering its dynamic economy and strategic location.
It was underlined that active and credible accession negotiations which respect to EU's commitments and established conditionality, along with all other dimensions of the EU-Turkey relationship, would enable this relationship to achieve its full potential. In this regard, the EU welcomed recent progress towards the opening of Chapter 22 on regional policy and coordination of structural instruments, which could be completed in June 2013.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||General view of the press conference on the EU-Turkey Association Council, at the Justus Lipsius building in Brussels
||Cutaway of a photographer
||Soundbite by Eamon Gilmore, Irish Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, (in ENGLISH): Turkey is a candidate country. It is a key partner for the EU. It is a country with a dynamic economy which occupies a strategic location.
||Cutaway of the audience
||Soundbite by Eamon Gilmore (in ENGLISH): The Irish Presidency, with regard to the accession process, is hoping to open the first chapter, chapter 22, on regional policy. It would be the first chapter in the accession process for three years. And we hope to open that next month. It is a sign of the continued commitment of both sides to moving the relationship and the accession process forward. I welcome a number of positive reforms in the area of democracy; human right and rule of law which Turkey has made in recent years. And the EU looks forward to Turkey continuing on its necessary reforms path and these areas particularly in relation to fundamental rights and freedom.
||Cutaway of cameramen
||Soundbite by Ahmet Davutoğlu, Turkish Minister for Foreign Affairs, (in ENGLISH): We believe that EU with Turkey will be stronger more local and more influential in world affairs. Now, the question is there; then why, why don't we make progress in our accession process? Because there are still 70 chapters being blocked because of political reasons. I don't want to go into details. Thanks to Irish Presidency, one chapter will be opened this year, this term, most probably in June, chapter 22. But as we say in Turkish "With one flower, spring doesn't come". So, therefore we think that all the blocked chapters because of political reasons should be unblocked and there should be a speedy process of accession. Otherwise, with this speed, we may have to wait an other half century to complete all the process.
||Soundbite by Štefan Füle, Member of the EC in charge of Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, (in ENGLISH): The first one is that during the discussions, I have welcomed the current new momentum in the accession negotiations. The positive agenda has played an important role in this and I look forward to continue our common work on its implementation in order to keep the positive momentum in the accession negotiations. And as it has been said, as a result, there is a chance for opening at least one chapter during the Irish Presidency, the chapter 22, regional policy.
||Soundbite by Eamon Gilmore (in ENGLISH): We need to secure a peaceful outcome, a political solution. That will be very difficult to achieve, the issue of the arms embargo is going to be discuss later today by the Foreign Affairs Council later. And I will shortly be joining that meeting as soon as this press conference is completed. I think it is well known that there are different views on that. Ireland is one of the countries that has been consistently reluctant to change the position on the arms embargo. The renewal of the sanctions will be up for discussion today. We will try and achieve an agreement in those discussions.
||Eamon Gilmore, Ahmet Davutoğlu and Štefan Füle leaving the press conference