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Turkey, EU prepare for Slovakia meeting

Turkey, EU foreign ministers gathering for first time since July 15 defeated coup

  | 02.09.2016
Turkey, EU prepare for Slovakia meeting

By Ayhan Simsek

BRATISLAVA

An upcoming meeting in Bratislava between Turkish and European Union foreign ministers will help "normalize the atmosphere" between the two, Slovakia's deputy prime minister said on Friday.

Miroslav Lajcak said Saturday’s informal meeting would be the first since Turkey experienced an attempted coup on July 15.

Speaking at a news conference, Lajcak said Turkey would be the first item on the agenda.

Lajcak said the meeting had come "quite late".

"I was in Ankara last week and I could feel very strong emotions on the Turkish side that the EU reacted very slowly [to the coup].

"We need to clarify among ourselves what it is we want from Turkey and with Turkey. And then I expect that after tomorrow’s meeting, we will help to normalize the atmosphere between the EU [and Turkey]," he added.

Asked about Turkey's EU accession talks, Lajcak said he would not support halting negotiations.

"I am personally not in favor of interrupting or stopping the accession talks…I think the accession process is the best leverage the EU could have when we want to influence the processes in the candidate countries," he said.

Speaking about visa liberalization for Turkish citizens, Lajcak said any decision would be subject to the European Parliament.

However, Lajcak said he “saw that there is a will on the Turkish side to find a solution to this issue".

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