Turkey and European Union fail to reach 'concrete solutions' after talks

PKK’s presence in Sinjar not to be tolerated Erdogan

PKK’s presence in Sinjar not to be tolerated Erdogan

Recalling that some European countries want to end accession talks or initiate to introduce alternative partnership models to Turkey, Ankara wants to avert breakage and aims to perpetuate dialogue with the EU, he said. "We do not accept the position that Bulgaria hosted a meeting between two parties - Europe and Turkey - because Bulgaria is Europe, we are in the EU", Ninova stressed, adding that the country can not be a third party observing the process.

The EU, deeply concerned at Turkey's approach to human rights since it brought in a state of emergency now in effect for more than 20 months since the attempted coup in July 2016, did not obtain any pledge from Turkey to free journalists it has jailed or improve other rights for its citizens, nor did it make significant headway over concerns about the Turkish military invention in Syria-but the meeting allowed for the first major talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in nearly year, thus the commitment to continue talking can be taken as something of a breakthrough.

Erdogan added that "a first step was taken here toward restoring trust with Europe" and described joining the European Union as a "strategic goal" for Turkey. "As you know, it was a long list including the rule of law and press freedom in Turkey, and Turkey's bilateral relations with member states, also the situation in Syria", he said.

"We now expect strong support [from the EU] on sensitive issues such as the fight against terrorism instead of rambling and unjust criticism", Mr Erdogan said.

Abadi also "rejected any violation by Turkey" of Iraqi territory after Ankara warned it was "inevitable" Turkey would launch an attack on PKK forces in Iraq.

Brussels leaders cited these geostrategic interests as common ground for greater cooperation with Turkey, despite differences.

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He was referring to a drillship that was prevented in February by Turkish warships ostensibly on sea maneuvers from proceeding to a drilling target between the southeastern shores of Cyprus and Lebanon.

Turkish warships have prevented a drillship from carrying out exploratory drilling on behalf of Italian company Eni southeast of Cyprus, in a move that the European Union criticized.

Turkey has stood firmly against Greek Cypriot attempts to exploit hydrocarbon reserves around Cyprus, a move that excludes the Turkish Cypriots in the island's breakaway north.

Erdogan pressed his European leaders to grant Turkish citizens visa liberalization to allow them to travel to certain European countries without visa restrictions.

"In terms of concrete solutions, we did not reach a concrete compromise today but I still hope it will be possible in the future", Tusk told a joint news conference. "This should not be turned into a political issue, it should not become an issue that shakes the trust of our people", he said.

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