'It’s important for EU, Netherlands to maintain good relations with Türkiye,' says Dutch premier

'It’s important for EU, Netherlands to maintain good relations with Türkiye,' says Dutch premier

'Türkiye is geopolitical actor with big influence in region, beyond,' says Mark Rutte

By Aysu Bicer

LONDON (AA) - Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Wednesday underscored the significance of enhancing the EU’s relationship with Türkiye, highlighting Ankara’s pivotal role as a geopolitical actor in the region and beyond.

He stated that talks would be held at an EU Council meeting in Brussels to strengthen ties between Türkiye and the EU.

"Türkiye is a geopolitical actor with a big influence in the region and beyond. It’s a NATO ally, and a partner in a wide range of areas. Examples include counterterrorism, security, climate change and energy, the economy and migration," Rutte said on X.

"It’s important for the EU – and the Netherlands – to maintain good relations with Türkiye. So it’s good to look at what steps we can take to strengthen our ties," he added.

Rutte also highlighted the urgent need to address Iran’s “reckless” attack on Israel.

He emphasized the importance of exploring measures to “ensure that Iran and groups affiliated to Iran refrain from further hostile actions against Israel.”

“De-escalation is essential for the security of the wider Middle East region,” the Dutch prime minister added.

The EU Council meeting will also discuss the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.

"In recent weeks, Russia has been targeting Ukraine’s cities and energy infrastructure with a constant barrage of missile and drone strikes. Ukraine therefore needs more military support, especially air defenses," he said.

Economic matters will also feature prominently in the discussions.

Rutte emphasized the significance of a robust EU economy, citing its role in enhancing the bloc's geopolitical standing and reducing reliance on external actors.

He emphasized the importance of the single market as the primary driver of growth and prosperity within the EU.

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