Erdogan says he will discuss Turkey-EU issues, east Mediterranean with EU chiefs


President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday he would hold talks over issues between Turkey and the European Union and developments in the eastern Mediterranean with the bloc’s chiefs in a video call later in the day, ahead of next week’s EU summit where leaders will discuss ties with Ankara.

Reuters reported on Thursday that the EU froze plans to blacklist more senior executives at Turkey’s state-owned Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO), in the clearest sign that Ankara’s diplomatic offensive this year is bearing fruit after months of tensions with the bloc.

Speaking to reporters in Istanbul, Erdogan said he would also discuss Turkey’s expectations from the bloc as a NATO ally, including Ankara’s demands for visa-free travel, an update to a customs union, and the possibility of EU sanctions, which the bloc had threatened at its last summit in December. [Reuters]