At European Political Community summit, Türkiye has chance to stress its problem-solving skills: Envoy

This week’s premier European Political Community summit represents an opportunity for Türkiye, as it has shown a “tremendous performance” in solving problems beyond the abilities of other countries, said the Turkish ambassador to the Czech Republic.

“This meeting is actually an opportunity for Türkiye because, as it has been for centuries, as the most Western country in the East and the most Eastern country in the West, demonstrates a tremendous performance in solving problems that other countries cannot,” Egemen Bagis told Anadolu Agency.

His remarks came a day before the first meeting of the European Political Community (EPC), which will be held in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, which currently holds the European Union’s rotating presidency.

The EPC, set up after French President Emmanuel Macron’s proposal in May, will bring together leaders of the 27 European Union states and 17 other European countries – Türkiye, the UK, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Albania, Armenia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Moldova, and Georgia.

“There is a Russia-Ukraine war going on which threatens all humanity and everyone is worried about, but Türkiye is the only country that can establish a dialogue with both sides,” said Bagis.

Skilled at tackling ‘chronic problems’

Hailing Türkiye’s mediation role between Russia and Ukraine, including the historic Istanbul grain corridor deal, Bagis said: “None of the EU member states could achieve this, but Türkiye did,” adding that the country is skillful in finding solutions to “chronic problems” in the world.

On July 22, Türkiye, the UN, Russia, and Ukraine signed an agreement in Istanbul to resume grain exports from three Ukrainian Black Sea ports, which were paused after the start of the Russia-Ukraine war in February.

Last month Türkiye also mediated a prisoner exchange between Moscow and Kyiv, and this March, brought together the Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers – the only such top-level meeting since the war began.

Bagis said that while some countries were trying to block Türkiye from being invited to the EPC, in fact the country is Europe’s “most important” partner for reaching solutions to many issues, including energy, migration, and security.

If the European Political Community becomes better established, and meets regularly, “it is certain that we will be one of the most important actors of this union,” he added.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will attend Thursday’s summit. He will hold sideline meetings with fellow leaders in attendance, including Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.

“Many EU member states, including Spain and France, requested bilateral talks to meet with Erdogan,” said Bagis. “Many EU and non-EU countries called us and requested an appointment to meet with our president, even to have a quick word with him due to time constraints.”

The high demand to meet with Erdogan “shows how far Türkiye has come” in terms of its profile and reputation for tackling problems, he said.

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