Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg (ÖVP) defends his visit to Ankara together with Interior Minister Gerhard Karner (ÖVP). Turkey has “taken a step in our direction,” he said Tuesday evening. The cooperation with the NATO partnership also came from Ankara. However, he was still in favor of breaking off EU accession negotiations with Turkey.
Turkey is in a difficult economic situation, but has changed its policy towards many countries in recent months, such as towards Israel and Armenia. “By the way, I am very pleased that the talks between Turkey and Armenia are taking place in Vienna,” Schallenberg emphasized in the ORF report.
“Last Trace of Dialogue” in Istanbul
However, Turkey is a regional powerhouse and also plays an important role as a mediator in the war in Ukraine. “We support them both in these mediation efforts, the so-called Istanbul process. This is, if you will, the last line of dialogue left between Russia and Ukraine,” but also in the effort to get “the millions of tons of grain” out of Ukraine to avoid a global food crisis.
According to Schallenberg, it is especially important to engage with Turkey on migration issues, as it is important to “prevent by all means” the 2015 migration crisis from repeating itself. Turkey has now received €10 billion from the EU, but has also tried to pressure Europe with migrants, but the borders in Greece and Bulgaria have held up. But in the meantime, there is also a very strong interest in Ankara, which “isn’t going to slip on this side”.
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