ERBIL (K24, Agencies) - The European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini said on Sunday that Turkey needs to revitalise the peace process broken by rising violence since last July.
Federica Mogherini, who was attending the EU - Turkey Summit in the Belgian capital Brussels, talked to reporters ahead of the meetings. In a video tweeted by the EU External Action Service (EEAS), the Union's foreign security policy service, Mogherini said the EU is ready to give all the support Turkey needs to restart peace talks with the Kurds in that country.
She said that it was important to restart the peace process "today" between the Turkish government and the Kurdistan Workers' Party "especially in these hours, after the killing of Mr. Elci." She referred to the killing on Saturday of the renowned Kurdish human rights lawyer Tahir Elci in Diyarbekir, which she said was as a "terrible thing."
Mogherini expressed her condolences and sympathy to Elci's family and "the people that have suffered and are suffering this killing."She also asserted the need for a revitalisation of the peace talks that lasted for more than two years and broke last July. At that time, two Turkish police officers were killed by suspected PKK-affiliated youth in the Kurdish-majority province of Urfa, on the Syrian border. Since then Turkish authorities have imposed weeks-long curfews on numerous Kurdish towns which resulted in civilian loss of life and urban devastation. Turkish air force meanwhile has been heavily bombarding PKK bases and Kurdish villages inside Turkey, and outside in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
The top EU foreign affairs chief further said that Turkish- Kurdish peace is important for Turkey, the region, and the European Union. She underlined the significance of "investments by Turkey" in the issues of human rights and media freedom.
Separately, mentioning the long electoral processes of the June 7 and November 1 Turkish parliamentary elections this year, Mogherini told reporters that the internal situation in Turkey is an important issue for the current Brussels summit. She said the EU wants to have a full-fledged dialogue with Turkey regarding the opening of new chapters in the accession process in a "new beginning" for Turkey's efforts to become an EU member, stalled for the past ten years.
The EU-Turkey summit is being held in part for member states to sign a migration deal sees the European Union and Turkey working together on the refugee crisis whose root causes lies in the nearly five-year-long Syrian Civil War. The EU hopes to stem the ever-increasing flow of migrants and refugees into the Schengen Zone where only Germany has so far received almost one million new arrivals since the beginning of 2015. Turkish authorities are expected to make the journey for refugees and asylum seekers more difficult and to keep out more Afghans and certain Asian groups who cross Turkey on their way to Europe. Ankara is also to accept those who reach Greece but fail to get political asylum. To achieve these goals with Turkey EU-member states promise more humanitarian aid in cash to Turkey, which hosts more than two million Syrian refugees.