By Merve Aydogan
ANKARA (AA) – This year the EU should cast aside its "shortsightedness" and "act more bravely to improve ties" with Turkiye, the nation’s president said on Thursday.
In an annual meeting with the ambassadors of EU member states, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said relations between Turkiye and the EU are being "sabotaged" by hiding behind a pretext of solidarity within the bloc.
He said the EU must work against such an approach, adding that some member states should "abandon their approach of solving their problems with Turkiye in the corridors of the union."
Turkiye has “worked towards establishing a dialogue and a diplomatic relationship (with the EU). In addition to high-level visits and talks, we also took part in high-level dialogues on climate change, security, migration, and healthcare,” said Erdogan.
But these many positive steps by Turkiye “did not meet the response we had expected from the EU,” said the president, decrying the “stalling tactics” from the bloc it faced instead.
Saying that significant issues in the EU such as "establishing a joint migration policy, (and tackling) xenophobia and animosity towards Islam" were pushed aside, Erdogan said the bloc has "taken no noteworthy steps" on these pressing issues.
"Anybody who has an objective perspective to such problems acknowledges that Turkiye is a key country in overcoming such problems as the EU is facing," he noted.
As a candidate country, Erdogan said Turkiye continues its negotiations with the bloc in areas of "supply chains, migration, defense, xenophobia and Islamophobia, health, and energy."
"Turkiye plays a problem-solving role," he said, adding that EU relations with the country must “go forward."
Ahead of Erdogan's address, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also met with the EU envoys, saying later on Twitter that they did a broad assessment of “current foreign policy developments."