Turkey must choose whether it is on the side of the EU, NATO and their values ​​or with Russia, Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah, stressed the Vice President of the Commission, Margaritis Schinas, in his speech at the “2nd Eastern Mediterranean Conference & Southeast Europe” organized by the Delphi Economic Forum in Brussels.

In particular, Mr. Schinas noted that “last Saturday we all woke up to the shocking news of a violent terrorist attack with multiple fronts launched by Hamas against the State of Israel and innocent citizens. From the first moment, all 27 EU member states unanimously recognized Israel’s right to defend itself, denounced the terrorist attack and said loudly that there is no justification for terror.”

“Turkey must choose which side of history it wants to be on: with us – with the European Union, NATO, our values, the morals of the West – or with Moscow, Tehran, Hamas and Hezbollah” he underlined pointing out that “the answer should be clear”.

At the same time, he mentioned that Turkey is key partner for stability in Europe and the region in areas such as immigration and trade, among others. Also, speaking about the meetings of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, he noted that they allow optimism for overcoming difficulties and unleashing the full potential of the Euro-Turkish partnership, saying at the same time that “for this to happen, there must be consistency” . At the same time, Margaritis Schinas, criticized the fact that Ankara does not participate in the sanctions against Russia.

Regarding the Western Balkans and the accession process, he spoke of funds that must be complied with and noted that there should be no “discounts”. “Whoever is ready, whoever crosses the finish line will be in,” he stressed.

Finally, the Vice-President of the Commission underlined that one of the messages for the candidate countries and especially for the Western Balkans is “full respect for democracy, human rights and the rule of law. There will be no membership without the strictest compliance with these conditions. Any backsliding, any shadow, any doubt about them – as we regret to see these days in the case of the detention and prevention of the democratically elected mayor of Himara – these kinds of issues risk undermining progress towards EU membership ».