Marko Mihkelson: Relations between Turkey and the EU are too emotional

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Foto from Riigikogu

Bilateral relations between Turkey and Estonia, and Turkey’s relations with the European Union were spoken about at the meeting of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) with Minister of European Union Affairs of Turkey Ömer Çelik.

Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu Marko Mihkelson emphasised that the continuation of comprehensive dialogue between the European Union and Turkey was important for Estonia. “We have different positions and political interests, even emotions, but the long-time understanding of the importance of partnership is more important,” Mihkelson said.

In Mihkelson’s opinion, the emotional approach to the issues relating to Turkey in the domestic policies of several European countries shows how important the role of Turkey is for the EU member states. “Let us not be disturbed by tactical moves, and let us focus on what is important from the future perspective,” Mihkelson said.

“On the basis of my many years of experience, I can say that Estonia and Turkey have always been very open and honest in their mutual relations,” Mihkelson added. “The foreign and security policy of Estonia is built on allied relations, but naturally we have to understand each other’s aims, priorities and problems.”

Speaking of the rule of law, Mihkelson underlined that Estonia considered international law, and the issue of human rights in the context of Turkey’s accession to the EU, as very important.

The Minister of European Union Affairs of Turkey emphasised the importance of Estonia as the holder of the Presidency of the Council of the European Union in developing the relations between the EU and Turkey.

Mihkelson acknowledged Turkey for managing the migration crisis and stopping the migration flow.

Both parties confirmed their excellent bilateral relations at the meeting, and expressed their conviction that the good mutual relations between the parliaments of Turkey and Estonia would continue. Both Estonia and Turkey also see a potential in developing trade.

Members of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu Barbi Pilvre and Anne Sulling also participated in the meeting.

Krishan Chand

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