Turkey is an important partner with which it is necessary to talk so as to turn around the negative trend in its relations with the EU, Croatia's Foreign and European Affairs Minister Gordan Grlić Radman said on Monday.
Grlić Radman participated in the first physical meeting of EU foreign ministers since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
The main topic was a comprehensive and strategic discussion of the complex relations between the EU and Turkey whose activities in the eastern Mediterranean are causing concern.
There was also talk of Turkey's intention to reconvert the Hagia Sophia back to a mosque after the Turkish high court stripped the Byzantine site of its museum status.
"EU member countries strongly advocate that Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan change that decision. We hope that that will happen," Grlić Radman said.
Dialogue with Turkey is necessary, said the minister, so that negative trends can be turned around and become positive and constructive.
Grlić Radman said that he asked the foreign affairs council to discuss the Western Balkans at the first available opportunity.
"We as the direct neighbour to those countries, want other topics to be on the agenda of the Council of the EU. That contributes to a better understanding in member countries of the processes that are developing in the Western Balkans when it comes to the issues of democracy, media freedom, combating corruption and the rule of law. It is certainly good to have permanent dialogue," said Grlić Radman.
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