EU foreign ministers meet in Vienna as transatlantic tensions heighten

EU foreign ministers meet in Vienna as transatlantic tensions heighten

EU foreign ministers will hold an informal meeting in Vienna today. The talks come two days after French President Emmanuel

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EU foreign ministers will hold an informal meeting in Vienna today. The talks come two days after French President Emmanuel Macron stated that the bloc could no longer rely on the United States for its security.

The attendance of Turkish foreign minister, Mevlut Cavasoglu, at this meeting is notable, as it comes amid US sanctions on Turkey and a war of words between Ankara and Washington. The sanctions have drawn criticism from the German foreign minister, Heiko Maas, as it directly penalises EU companies trading with Turkey. Berlin is now pushing for ways to get around the sanctions.

For Turkey’s part, Mr Cavasoglu signalled this week that Turkey is still very much interested in accession to the EU. Ankara wishes to kickstart the accession process stalled since 2015 by prioritising the economic reforms demanded by Brussels.

The current transatlantic rifts are likely to push the EU and Turkey closer together, despite their political differences of late. Expect the foreign ministers to discuss ways to forge closer trading links in the face of Washington’s belligerent trade policies. This will likely include plans for payment channels independent of the US financial system.

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