Sunday

25th Feb 2024

EU hopes for Turkey to build bridges in cartoon conflict

The current Austrian EU presidency has invited Turkish foreign minister Abdullah Gul to present ideas at an informal so-called "Gymnich" meeting in Salzburg next month on how to improve relations after the Mohammed cartoon conflict, which has sharpened tensions between Europe and the muslim world.

"The Turkish foreign minister has been invited to open a discussion on this theme at a meeting of foreign ministers on 11 March," Austrian presidency spokesman Nikola Johannes Donig said, according to Danish daily Politiken.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Get the EU news that really matters

Instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

  • Turkey - to play new role as conflict mediator? (Photo: EUobserver)

Mr Gul is also expected to shed light on the so-called "Alliance of Civilisations" plan.

The initiative for an "Alliance of Civilisations" was launched by UN secretary general Kofi Annan in July 2005 to bridge divides and overcome prejudice that potentially threatens world peace.

The call for an alliance was initiated by Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero of Spain, and co-sponsored by prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey.

The group is expected to present a report with recommendations and a practical plan of action in late 2006 including a trust fund set up to finance the initiative and a high-level group of eminent persons to guide the scheme.

Turkey in new role

Turkish interest in helping solve the Middle East conflict and other disputes between the west and the muslim world has lately been on the rise.

Ankara last week accepted a visit from Palestinian Hamas leaders, who are still on the EU's list of terror suspects.

"Turkey's importance was better understood by the world after the cartoon row, but several circles in Turkey failed to perceive this importance," Mr Gul recently told a party rally, reported by Turkish daily Zaman.

He accused those criticising the Hamas visit of "ignoring their country's power and being oblivious to history."

Russian oligarchs failed to get off EU blacklist

Hungary failed to get three Russian and three Chinese names deleted, as the EU approved its 13th package of sanctions ahead of an anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Feature

Only Palestinians paying thousands of dollars leave Gaza

Despite the high risk of dying from war, starvation or disease, Gazans are still not allowed to enter Egypt. Except those who bribe the authorities. And the EU mission EUBAM Rafah cannot be deployed due to security reasons.

Feature

Only Palestinians paying thousands of dollars leave Gaza

Despite the high risk of dying from war, starvation or disease, Gazans are still not allowed to enter Egypt. Except those who bribe the authorities. And the EU mission EUBAM Rafah cannot be deployed due to security reasons.

Latest News

  1. EU rewards Tusk's Poland on rule of law with €137bn
  2. UK-EU relations defrosting ahead of near-certain Labour win
  3. EU paid Russia €420-per-capita for fossil fuels since war began
  4. After two years of war, time to hit Putin's LNG exports
  5. Creating the conditions for just peace in Ukraine
  6. Energy and minerals disputes overshadow new EU-ACP pact
  7. Germany speeds up Georgia and Morocco asylum returns
  8. How Amazon lobbyists could be banned from EU Parliament

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersJoin the Nordic Food Systems Takeover at COP28
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersHow women and men are affected differently by climate policy
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersArtist Jessie Kleemann at Nordic pavilion during UN climate summit COP28
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCOP28: Gathering Nordic and global experts to put food and health on the agenda
  5. Friedrich Naumann FoundationPoems of Liberty – Call for Submission “Human Rights in Inhume War”: 250€ honorary fee for selected poems
  6. World BankWorld Bank report: How to create a future where the rewards of technology benefit all levels of society?

Join EUobserver

EU news that matters

Join us