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  • 25 August 2016

    Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski's one-day visit to Ankara kicked-off on Thursday with consultations with his Turkish and Romanian counterparts. Waszczykowski is also due to meet Turkish President Recep Tayip Erdogan.

    During his consultations with his counterparts from Turkey - Mevlut Cavusoglu - and Romania - Lazar Comanescu - Waszczykowski will discuss the July NATO Summit in Warsaw and the decisions made at the event, the security situation in the south-eastern part of the Alliance, the development of tri-lateral Polish-Turkish-Romanian co-operation as well as the migration crisis.



    In his meeting with Erdogan, Waszczykowski is due to discuss the consequences of the failed coup attempt in Turkey and Turkey's relations with the EU. A joint press conference is scheduled to take place upon the conclusion of the talks between the foreign ministers. 


    In the afternoon, the ministers will meet President Erdogan and lay flowers at the building of the Turkish parliament, which was damaged during the coup attempt in July. 


    On Wednesday morning, Waszczykowski told TVP Info that during his meeting with them he would ask Minister Cavusoglu and President Erdogan about the direction that Turkish governmental policy is currently heading towards. He also pointed out that Turkey remains "a credible partner, a credible member of NATO" and at this point in time Poland has no reason to "question Turkey's actions".


    On Tuesday, Poland's chief diplomat said that his trip to Turkey was a so-called fact-finding mission. "We want to go there and, together with my Romanian colleague Lazar Comanescu, talk with the Turkish leadership to find out what happened, what the situation is right now, what the Turkish government plans to do next, how they view the whole situation; how they see the future of their relations with the European Union and NATO, because this is a very important issue for us. Does Turkey want to work within the NATO framework and help implement the decisions made at the NATO Summit in Warsaw? What is the current status with its relations with Russia, given recent developments in this field?" Waszczykowski told Polish Radio. 


    Thursday's consultations will mark the second series of meetings within the trilateral Polish-Turkish-Romanian constellation backed by Waszczykowski. The previous meeting took place on 9 June in Warsaw. The Polish Foreign Minister said that the current meeting was initially scheduled to take place in Bucharest but "due to the known events in Ankara and Istanbul, we decided that the meeting should take place in Ankara instead". 


    Tensions between Western capitals and Ankara have increased since 15 July, when a failed military coup attempt took place. In response to the failed coup attempt, tens of thousands of people have been fired or suspended due to their alleged links to the putschists. 


    The leaders of European countries and the United States are observing Erdogan'a purges and repression with concern.


    According to the Ankara leadership, the EU and other western countries did not show a sufficient amount of support and solidarity after the coup attempt. Erdogan'a spokesman,  Ibrahim Kalin, said in August that as a result, Ankara has the right to "search for other options for military co-operation outside of the NATO framework. Moreover, in the beginning of August, Omar Celik, Turkey's Minister for European Affairs, warned that his country could pull out of the migrant debate if the EU does not set a concrete date for the removal of visas for Turkish citizens. 


    Meanwhile, relations between Turkey and Russia have improved. Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Erdogan in St Petersburg on 9 August following a six-month long crisis in relations between the two countries caused by Turkey shooting down a Russian fighter jet on the Turkish-Syrian border. The leaders of the two countries have agreed to work together to strengthen the fight against the so-called Islamic State (IS) and other jihadist groups.


    Source: PAP

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