Erdogan Wants to Improve Relations with EU

Ankara, Jan 12 (AFP/APP): Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday he wanted to improve relations with the European Union and was hoping for the same “goodwill” from the 27-nation bloc.

A more assertive Turkish foreign policy has rankled EU members, bringing disagreements particularly with Greece in the eastern Mediterranean and France in Libya and the Middle East.

But the Turkish leader has softened some of his toughest rhetoric and took a conciliatory tone in a televised meeting with EU ambassadors in Ankara. “We are ready to put our relations back on track,” Erdogan told the ambassadors.

“We expect our European friends to show the same goodwill.” Turkey and Greece this week agreed to address their long-standing dispute over maritime borders at so-called exploratory talks in Istanbul on January 25.

The meeting will be the first since negotiations between the two uneasy NATO neighbours broke down after 60 fruitless rounds stretching 14 years in 2016. “We believe that the exploratory talks with Greece … will be the harbinger of a new era,” Erdogan said.

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