EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who had been embarrassed recently over a protocol ‘mix-up’ during an official visit to the Turkish Presidential Palace, since dubbed ‘sofagate’, confirmed she had talked yesterday with the President of Turkey, Tayyip Erdogan.
The communication between von der Leyenand Erdogan came, crucially, three days before Thursday’s European Council Summit in Brussels where EU leaders will discuss COVID-19, economic recovery, migration including relations with Turkey and Russia.
“Had a good conversation with President Erdogan before the European Council on Thursday,” von der Leyen said in a Twitter post.
“We discussed the state of EU-Turkey relations, COVID19, trade and customs union, the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean, migration and developments in Afghanistan,” he said.
EU High Representative Josep Borrell confirmed during a news conference yesterday following the Foreign Affairs Council that EU foreign ministers had discussed the issue and noted that he had spoken with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoglou in Antalya before leaving for Lebanon.
Mr Borell also pointed out that the EU’s relations with Turkey are affected by the Cyprus issue and stressed that the EU will closely monitor the situation in Cyprus, trying to give impetus to the continuation of negotiations that began in Geneva.
“I believe this is a good opportunity to make an effort to find a solution to the Cyprus problem,” the High Representative said.