Qa-65, 13 July 2020, Statement Of The Spokesperson Of The Ministry Of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Hami Aksoy, In Response To A Question Regarding The Statement Of Eu High Representative For Foreign Affairs And Security Policy Following The Eu Foreign Affairs Council

Republic Of Turkey Ministry Of Foreign Affairs 14.07.2020

Turkey’s position on the issues in the Eastern Mediterranean is well known to all parties. The initial steps that need to be taken for a solution to these issues are the establishment of a cooperation mechanism between the two peoples on the Island on hydrocarbon resources including equitable sharing, resumption of dialogue channels with Turkey and the creation of an atmosphere of dialogue and cooperation in the region without any preconditions, rather than forming alliances against Turkey. Tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean can only be diffused by adoption of such an approach by all parties.

On the other hand, Turkey has been underlining from the outset that there can be no military solution to the ongoing conflict in Libya. From Skhirat to Berlin, we have consistently supported and contributed to all international efforts in order to revitalize a Libyan-led, Libyan-owned political process under UN auspices.

If the EU has the will to contribute to the peaceful settlement of the Libyan crisis, it should abandon its double standard approach as in Operation Irini and should side with international legitimacy in line with the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions.

Regarding Hagia Sophia, we would once again like to stress that it is a property of Turkey and any kind of power disposition regarding Hagia Sophia including its change of status is a matter within Turkish sovereign rights that no one can interfere with.

In its new status, Hagia Sophia Mosque will still be open to visitors from all faiths and religions around the globe. Everybody will be able to visit this magnificent building. Also, the measures to be taken in Hagia Sophia will preserve the Outstanding Universal Value of the property.

Maintaining its feature as a common cultural heritage of humanity, Hagia Sophia will continue to embrace everyone with its new status.

On the other hand, High Representative Borrell‘s emphasis on dialogue and engagement in Turkey-EU relations is appreciated. Turkey believes that the relations with the EU can be advanced with the understanding of a revised 18th March Statement that furthers the accession process and takes into consideration the new conditions and challenges, as has been agreed between our President and the Presidents of the EU Council and the Commission in Brussels, on 9th March.

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