Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and his Turkish counterpart Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu discussed an extremely wide range of topics at their meeting in Berlin on 6 May. At the subsequent press conference, Foreign Minister Maas summarised the talks as follows:
We seek constructive approaches with Turkey, also with a view to Turkey’s relations with the EU, the Council of Europe, the Cyprus question, as well as the Eastern Mediterranean. We are talking about mutual expectations – once there are results on one side, there might be results on the other side, too.
Also after its Presidency of the EU Minister’s Council, Germany wants to maintain its efforts to help resolve the tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean and thus help build the necessary trust between the countries involved, Greece, Cyprus and Turkey, with a view to then achieving concrete solutions.
Furthermore, Foreign Minister Maas emphasised that the pledges made at last year’s Berlin Libya Conference must be upheld, including the withdrawal of all foreign troops and mercenaries. The conditions must be put in place for elections in Libya and the transitional government in the country needs to set the pace for political developments here in the coming months.
Turning to Syria, the two Ministers concurred that Russia must agree to the extension of the cross-border resolution in the UN Security Council so that humanitarian assistance for Syria can continue to be transported across the border from Turkey. For many regions, this assistance can only be brought from Turkey.
Germany and Turkey are not only partners within NATO but are also both members of the Council of Europe where Germany has the Presidency of the Committee of Ministers until the end of May. Therefore, the shared and fundamental obligations to protect human rights and implement rulings by the European Court of Human Rights were another important topic.
A further key focus was the determined work to combat the pandemic and the understandable desire of many people to gradually get back to normal, first of all when it comes to a responsible perspective for holidays this coming summer.