Croatian FM: Turkey Important Partner, Dialogue Necessary

By 13 July 2020
Croatian FM: Turkey Important Partner, Dialogue Necessary
Screenshot | N1 Hrvatska

ZAGREB, July 13, 2020 - Turkey is an important partner with which it is necessary to talk so as to turn around the negative trend in its relations with the EU, Croatia's Foreign and European Affairs Minister Gordan Grlic Radman said on Monday.

Grlic Radman participated at the first physical meeting of EU foreign ministers since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

The main topic was a comprehensive and strategic discussion of the complex relations between the EU and Turkey whose activities in the eastern Mediterranean are causing concern.

There was also talk of Turkey's intention to reconvert Hagia Sophia back to a mosque after the Turkish high court stripped the Byzantine site of its museum status.

"EU member countries strongly advocate that Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan change that decision. We hope that that will happen," Grlic Radman said.

He added that Turkey is a candidate country for NATO membership with which is it necessary to hold dialogue, however, it is also necessary to warn it of its violation of an embargo on arms to Libya and some other situations that deteriorate our relations.

"Dialogue is necessary so that this negative trend can be turned around and become positive and constructive because Turkey is an important partner and geopolitical fact," the minister said.

Grlic Radman said that he asked the foreign affairs council to discuss the Western Balkans at the first available opportunity.

"Croatia does not want for all of that be over with the Zagreb summit and that it be brought down to just the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia. We as the direct neighbour to those countries, want other topics to be on the agenda of the Council of the EU. That contributes to a better understanding in member countries of the processes that are developing in the Western Balkans when it comes to the issues of democracy, media freedom, combatting corruption and the rule of law. It is certainly good to have permanent dialogue," said Grlic Radman.