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Monday, January 7, 2013

Turkey, Sweden, and Brazil form a Trilateral pact?

The foreign ministers of Turkey, Sweden, and Brazil released a statement with the title "Trilateral Solidarity for Building peace" during a meeting in Izmir on January 5.

It is somewhat unclear how much the initiative means in practice, other than serving as a recognition of the already frequent contacts between these governments and their foreign ministers. But at the least, it entails continued meetings between the three ministers, during which they will touch on relevant global topics. According to my source, it may also lead to meetings between civil servants in the foreign ministries.

Swedish foreign minister, Carl Bildt, is a longtime believer in the strategic significance of Turkey and has been working actively to strengthen relations between the two states. But this initiative was originally proposed by the magazine Monocle, which organized a round table with the three foreign ministers in New York. I suspect that the name comes from Davutoğlu, however.

Here is a link to an article in Hurriyet Daily News on the initiative.

Here is the statement on the web page of the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Turkey accuses EU of bigotry | EurActiv

Turkey has published its own report on the country's progress in adopting the EU aquis. According to Turkish Minister of EU Affairs, Egemen Bağış, the decision is in response to the fact that
this year's Turkey Progress Report was overshadowed by more subjective, biased, unwarranted and bigoted attitudes.
I must admit to not yet having gotten through the report (one of many unfinished projects over the winter break...) but my back channel sources tell me that the Cypriot delegation has been demanding stronger language in recent years' Progress Reports.

You can find Bağış' statement here.

And here's EurActiv's article on the issue.

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