Lajcak: Turkey Plays Important Role in Europe’s Security

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(Stock photo by TASR/AP)
Bratislava/Ankara, April 30 (TASR) – Slovak Foreign Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajcak (a Smer-SD nominee) stated at a press conference of foreign affairs ministers of the Visegrad Four (V4) countries (Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary) and Turkey on Tuesday that Turkey plays an important role in Europe’s security.

“Turkey is an important partner for us. It’s our ally in NATO, it’s a candidate country for EU membership, and it’s a country that plays a very important role in the region, which is essential for Europe’s security,” stated Lajcak.

“It needs to be taken into account that Turkey is the country that has hosted the largest number of migrants and refugees in the world,” he said, noting that the country has taken in 4.5 million migrants and refugees, of which 3.6 million have come from Syria. “Thanks to an agreement that the EU and Turkey signed in 2016, Turkey has become a bulwark against an uncontrolled tide of migrants to Europe,” said Lajcak.

Lajcak added that the V4 and Turkey format is very useful. He explained that the ministers discussed in detail the situation in Syria, Iran, Iraq and the latest developments concerning Israel and Palestine.

He also stated that there are EU-member countries that would like to stop the talks on Turkey joining the Union, but Slovakia isn’t among them. “We’re of the opinion that if a country is honestly interested in EU membership and is ready to meet all the conditions that stem from it, it should be given a chance, and a chance can be only be reflected in accession talks,” explained the minister, stressing that the conditions need to be met.

Turkey’s Foreign Affairs Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu confirmed that many topics were addressed at the meeting. “I provided current information on what we’re doing in Syria…,” he stated.

The ministers addressed irregular migration, which, according to Cavusoglu, needs to be dealt with jointly.

Cavusoglu also praised the effective nature of the agreement between his country and the EU, thanking the V4 countries for their support for Turkey’s efforts to join the Union. “Turkey is ready to meet any conditions and standards…” he said.