Calling on European Union members to find a “strategic vision” regarding candidate country Turkey, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has stated there is “a very serious deadlock” in regards to opening of new negotiation chapters.
Davutoglu’s remarks came in Istanbul on Saturday, March 5, at a joint press conference with Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini and Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, as he first noted these two countries’ constant support for Turkey’s EU accession bid.
“Unfortunately, we are facing a very serious deadlock in Turkey-EU relations in regards to opening of chapters. But beyond that, from now on we want a strategic vision to be sovereign in the EU’s viewpoint of Turkey. Perhaps, the two countries that most share this strategic vision with us are Italy and Sweden. Today, we found the chance to discuss this vision again,” Davutoglu said.
Turkey and the EU have failed to open a new negotiation chapter for the past eight months, the longest period of time since the beginning of membership talks in 2005. “I once more shared with them the disappointment we have felt due to the decision concerning visas that has been taken by the EU Justice and Home Affairs Council. Both of the countries had lent strong support to us but the decision for launching talks on visa immunity couldn’t unfortunately be taken because of interference from some countries,” Davutoglu also said.
While Bildt repeated his country’s support for Turkey’s EU accession, Frattini expressed “disappointment about the double standard by the EU” towards Turkey. Turkey asked the 27-nation bloc to grant visa exemptions for its nationals who want to travel to member states, saying the EU has already offered such privileges to many countries, Today's Zaman reported.