Middle East

Turkey says EU needs to stop “playing for time”, take concrete steps for better ties

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Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu speaks as he gives a joint statement with High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell (not pictured), ahead of a meeting at the EEAS in Brussels, Belgium, January 21, 2021. Stephanie Lecocq/Pool via REUTERS

ANKARA, March 24 (Reuters) - Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu called on the European Union to stop “playing for time” and making conditional remarks about Turkey, urging the bloc to take steps to improve the positive momentum in ties, a day before an EU summit where the bloc’s leaders will discuss ties with Ankara.

The EU is ready to deepen trade ties with Turkey but will maintain the threat of economic sanctions if Ankara moves against the bloc's interests, according to a draft statement due to be agreed by EU leaders at the summit. read more

Speaking to reporters in Brussels after a NATO meeting, Cavusoglu said the bloc had to take steps on updating a customs union with Turkey and granting Turks visa-free travel into the EU.

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Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu and Ece Toksabay

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