Cavusoglu: EU enlargement has become a hostage of narrow political interests

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Friday that “the European Union’s enlargement agenda has become hostage to narrow political interests within the bloc.”

This is stated in a speech during his participation in the Serbian capital, at the Belgrade summit of the Open Balkan Initiative, where he spoke to representatives of Serbia, Albania, North Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Hungary.

Cavusoglu noted that Turkey sees the Open Balkans Initiative as a bridge with the European Union, noting that enlargement has been one of the most successful policies pursued by the European Union in the past.

However, he added: “The union has become withdrawn into itself, and the enlargement agenda has become a prisoner of narrow political interests.”

“No one can give a reasonable explanation as to why Albania and North Macedonia waited so long to start membership talks,” Cavusoglu added, congratulating the two countries on the start of membership talks.

He expressed the hope that their experience in this regard would be different from the Turkish one due to the Union’s obstacles to membership.

He said he did not want to go into details of how Turkey’s accession issue was politicized due to narrow interests.

Cavusoglu noted that there are two challenges in the Balkans today: the political crisis in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the path of dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo.

He noted that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will visit Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Croatia next week.

He emphasized that Turkey cannot allow a new conflict to arise in the heart of the Balkans, stressing that it will continue to do everything possible for the benefit of the region.

Source: Anatolia

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