Turkey can significantly help Europe with many of the issues it is currently facing, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala said following the participation of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at the European summit in Prague.
Fiala and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen held talks with Erdoğan on Thursday on how Turkey can aid Europe in solving the migration crisis and also provide export routes for Ukrainian raw materials. Moreover, Turkey stands for deepening cooperation with the EU.
“Ursula von der Leyen and I talked to President Erdoğan about several issues, including the issue of migration,” Fiala said after the end of the first day of the summit. “To some extent, Turkey represents the key to solving the current migration problems,” he added.
“Turkey would not only detain migrants because we know it is a country that has already received a huge number of them, but it also has the ability to some extent to help calm the situation in the countries from which the migrants come. I think this is also an important form of cooperation,” he said.
On Thursday, the first-ever meeting of the so-called European Political Community took place at Prague Castle, where representatives of EU countries met with invited statesmen from non-EU countries in an informal spirit.
One of them was the president of Turkey. Also present were the leading representatives of Armenia and Azerbaijan, and U.K. Prime Minister Liz Truss.
According to Fiala, Erdoğan expressed interest in continuing and deepening cooperation with the EU at the meeting between him and Von der Leyen.
While in the past, Erdoğan has threatened European countries that if his country did not receive funding, he would release detained refugees to Europe, now he reportedly did not set any conditions and did not ask for money.
“However, migration issues are very complex, and it is precisely such meetings that help to solve them. Turkey also plays an important role in opening supply routes for agricultural products from Ukraine,” said the Czech prime minister.
“And this is important so that we don’t have problems with food shortages in some countries in North Africa, which is important so that a new wave of migration from this part of the world is not triggered,” added Fiala.
He also highlighted Turkey’s contribution to negotiations between Russia and Ukraine, which have been at war since February following the invasion of Russian troops.
“Turkey helped free some prisoners of war,” the Czech prime minister said.