EU-Turkey relations, implementation of the Minsk agreement and the fight against radicalisation and terrorism will be the main topics of a two-day informal meeting of EU foreign ministers to start in Bratislava on Friday afternoon, Slovak Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini said upon arriving at the meeting on Friday.
Lajcak told reporters the first item on the meeting's agenda today would be Turkey and that talks with Turkish Minister for European Affairs Omar Celik would be held on Saturday.
He said that the EU and Turkey's growing further apart after the EU expressed strong solidarity with the Turkish leadership after a recent failed coup was not normal.
Turkey is an important partner and we must make it clear what we want of it, Lajcak said, expressing hope that the atmosphere would be more normal after tomorrow's meeting.
Lajcak stressed that the key issue for Turkey was an anti-terrorism law and that he personally was not for breaking off talks between the EU and Turkey, which is what some EU politicians have called for.
Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said that the EU should support the Turkish government regarding the attempted coup, but that the support should be balanced against the EU's request for respect for human rights and the rule of law in Turkey.
The EU foreign ministers, including Croatia's Miro Kovac, will be joined on Saturday by foreign ministers from the EU candidate countries Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Albania and Turkey. The meeting will focus on the fight against terrorism and common challenges, including the prevention of radicalisation.