As the current presidency of the Council of the European Union, Estonia wishes to help dialogue between the EU and Turkey continue, Minister of Foreign Affairs Sven Mikser (SDE) said.
"We support the European Union's open dialogue with Turkey, with whom the EU has several common interests — the agreement on migration, the economy, cooperation against terrorism, the customs union," Mikser, who visited Ankara on Tuesday, was quoted by spokespeople as saying.
"Strong cooperation between the EU and Turkey is necessary to overcome common challenges," the he added added.
At the same time, the Estonian minister emphasized that the EU enlargement policy is based on clear criteria and the EU expects from all candidates, including Turkey, observance of European standards in promoting democracy and the rule of law.
Mikser recognized Turkey's contributions toward solving the migration issue.
"Fulfilment of the EU-Turkey agreement on migration is very important in solving the European migrant crisis and we recognize Turkey for hosting 3.2 million refugees," he said. Mikser noted that as holder of the EU presidency, the issue of migration was a priority for Estonia as well.
Mikser expressed his sympathy on Estonia's behalf for the loved ones of the people killed and injured in the failed coup attempt in Turkey a year ago. He stressed the measures that Turkey is taking after the coup attempt must be consistent with the principles of rule of law, including the right of every person to fair trial.
Mikser met in Ankara with Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım, Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and Speaker of the Grand National Assembly İsmail Kahraman. At the meetings, the Estonian minister reaffirmed good relations between the two countries.
Mikser also met with Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and Öztürk Yılmaz, chairman and deputy chairman of the CHP, Turkey's biggest opposition party, as well as Christian Berger, head of the Delegation of the European Union to Turkey, with whom domestic political developments in Turkey were discussed.
Editor: Aili Vahtla