The European Union should stop “misleading” Turkey about its prospects of membership in the bloc and instead offer it a “comprehensive strategic partnership,” Hungary’s foreign minister said on Friday, The Associated Press reported.
Peter Szijjártó, who was hosting his Turkish counterpart, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, said his counterparts from some of the larger EU members reject Turkey’s membership at closed-door meetings but don’t say so publicly.
“If this is the position of certain countries, then why don’t they talk about it publicly and why do they mislead the Turks with something that isn’t going to happen?” said Szijjártó.
“If membership is impossible … let’s talk then about a comprehensive strategic partnership which will add to Europe economically, in terms of defense and in trade,” Szijjártó added.
Szijjártó also praised Turkey’s role in preventing some 4.5 million migrants, mostly Syrians, currently in Turkey from migrating to Europe, saying “Europe’s security today begins in Turkey.”
Çavuşoğlu thanked Szijjártó and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán for “representing Turkey’s rights everywhere.”