EU-Turkey dialogue streghtened in Lithuania

By Agnete Vestergaard-Kristensen

Vilnius, Lithuania: Last week a large president-led delegation from Turkey arrived in the Baltic capital in order to intensify the cooperation concerning EU agenda during Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the EU as well as Turkey’s EU membership and developments of the two countries bilateral relations.

Turkey’s efforts of becoming a member of the European Union has over the past year been stalled, and since its 2005 application for EU membership Turkey has opened negotiations in merely 13 of the 35 so-called negotiating chapters that EU hopefuls have to agree upon.

(Photo: Agnete Vestergaard-Kristensen)

(Photo: Agnete Vestergaard-Kristensen)

Sharing of experience

Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Linas Linkevičius, assured that Lithuania would seek to ensure the continuity of EU enlargement policy in the second half of this year and to adopt ambitious enlargement guidelines for 2014.

Lithuania is ready to contribute to Turkey`s preparations for an accession and would continue to share its experience in the field of the European integration and Minister L.Linkevičius emphasized the importance to maintain the continuity of the EU integration-related reforms in Turkey.

Presidents discuss Viking Railway

Turkey’s President Abdullah Gul met with Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaite and attended a joint business forum. According to the Turkish ambassador to Lithuania, Alkin Algan, Turkey is very interested in joining the Viking railway project, which connects the Baltic and the Black seas.

-There is no reason why we shouldn’t take our road in concretization of this project: from Baltic countries to Odessa by train, from Odessa to Samsun by sea by ship and once again from Samsun to south of turkey by train a gain. It will be very interesting-, the Ambassador said to prior to the meeting, which resulted in a cooperation memorandum.

Both sides also exchanged their opinions on the most important points of the UN and NATO agenda. Moreover, Turkey’s role in humanitarian issues in the context of the conflict in Syria was accentuated.