8 June 2012European Union's foreign policy chief has praised the strategic ties between the union and Turkey.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, EU Minister and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagis, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton and EU Commissioner for Enlargement Stefan Fule met in Istanbul over the 3rd ministerial meeting of Turkey-EU Political Dialogue process on Thursday.
Speaking at the joint press conference held after the gathering, Ashton said the Union supported the launch of the Positive Agenda initiative.
"I really do hope that it will give new momentum to the accession process," she said.
Ashton pointed to the excellent cooperation between Turkey and EU on foreign policy.
Commenting on the situation in Syria, Ashton said, "Our thoughts every day are with the people of Syria. We are horrified by the violence and determined to work together in support of solutions."
Ashton said the Union expected Turkey's support on the matter to continue.
She also said there were numerous areas of collaboration between Turkey and EU, adding that the two parties did not always agree but were absolutely determined to work together.
"For the rest of my mandate, I know how important the strategic relationship is with Turkey and how determined I am to continue to develop that," she said.
EU Enlargement Commissioner Fule said in his part that the launching of the Positive Agenda between Turkey and EU, as well as today's gathering showed that the two parties wanted to solve problems together.
"We want to revitalize and to reenergize our relations and we are doing that right now. We deserve a dialogue, we deserve a joint solution, we deserve the Positive Agenda," Fule said.
The Commissioner said issues such as the implementation of the Positive Agenda, Turkey's constitutional reform process, human rights and visa liberalization had been on the agenda of today's gathering.
He said the issue of bringing a clarity to visa conflict had delayed them from reaching a solution that would be to the benefit of the citizens of Turkey.
"I hope very much that we will be able, sooner or later, to find a right sequence and compatibility between the readmission treaty on one side, signing and implementing it, and the visa liberalization dialogue on the other side," he said.
Fule said he had also expressed his concerns regarding the detention of lawmakers, academics and students, as well as the freedom of press and journalists in Turkey.
Describing the atmosphere at today's talks as optimistic, Fule said, "We want to provide a new momentum to Turkey's accession process."