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 Wednesday, October 20 2021 16:10
Marianna Mkrtchyan

European Commission report: Turkey`s increasingly assertive foreign  policy, including in the South Caucasus, continued to collide with EU  priorities under the CFSP

European Commission report: Turkey`s increasingly assertive foreign  policy, including in the South Caucasus, continued to collide with EU  priorities under the CFSP

ArmInfo. Turkey's increasingly assertive foreign policy continued to collide with EU  priorities under the CFSP, notably due to its support for military  action in the Caucasus, Syria and Iraq. This is stated in the report  of the European Commission (EC) on the process of Turkey's accession  to the European Union (EU) for 2021.

The 128-page report notes that: "Turkey took a leading role in  supporting Azerbaijan military efforts in Nagorno-Karabakh, providing  military assistance, intelligence and weapons, and reportedly support  through foreign fighters. As a consequence, relations with Armenia  did not improve."

The document also mentions that: "Canada cancelled export permits for  military goods and technology to Turkey following the results of an  investigation into allegations that Canadian technology was being  used by the Azerbaijani military forces in the Nagorno- Karabakh  conflict."

The report criticizes Turkey's actions in Libya and Syria. It is  noted that: "Turkey's increasingly assertive foreign policy continued  to collide with EU priorities under the CFSP, notably due to its  support for military action in the Caucasus, Syria and Iraq. While  the institutional framework enabling Turkey's participation in the  CFSP and the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) is in place,  Turkey maintained a very low alignment rate of around 14 %. Turkey's  military support in Libya, including the deployment of foreign  fighters on the ground, and its persistent criticism of, and lack of  cooperation with Operation IRINI, are detrimental to the EU's  effective contribution to the UN arms embargo implementation, and  have led to conflicting approaches on Libya. Turkey wants to see a  stable and prosperous Syria, an objective it shares with the EU.  However, Turkey pursued its own military action in northern Syria,  including through Turkish-backed militias. At the same time, Turkey  increased the provision of basic services and extended its  infrastructure networks in northern Syria."

It is also noted that: " The EU has repeatedly stressed the need for  Turkey to respect the sovereign rights of EU Member States, which  include entering into bilateral agreements and exploring and  exploiting their natural resources in accordance with the EU acquis  and international law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the  Sea. Turkey needs to commit itself unequivocally to good neighbourly  relations, international agreements and to the peaceful settlement of  disputes in accordance with the United Nations Charter, having  recourse, if necessary, to the International Court of Justice."

In general, the report emphasizes that, "there are serious  deficiencies in the functioning of Turkey's democratic institutions".  The situation in the country with the rule of law, independent  justice and respect for fundamental rights continues to deteriorate.  Assessing Turkey's progress towards joining the European Union, the  authors of the document criticized the fact that the special powers  of the Turkish authorities, introduced after the attempted coup in  2016, are still in force. The pressure on civil society and on  politicians from opposition parties does not stop, it is stated  below.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry reacted sharply to the report of the  European Commission, stressing that the document contains "unfounded  accusations" and "unfair criticism" with which Ankara does not agree.   According to the Turkish Foreign Ministry, this document demonstrates  the EU's  "double morality" towards Turkey, which claims to join the  European Union.


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