Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl travelled to Turkey on 25 January to conduct discussions with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu. The goal of the meeting, which took place in the historic Dolmabahçe Palace, is to mark a new beginning in the bilateral relations between Austria and Turkey.
The situation in the past was similar to that of a bull in a china shop. I would like to leave that behind me and begin a new chapter in our bilateral relations,
stressed Ms Kneissl in the run-up to her trip.
Following a telephone call with her Turkish counterpart in December, Ms Kneissl announced that she would intervene as foreign minister to improve strained relations between the two countries. In this context, Kneissl stressed that it was especially important to enable an improved dialogue between the two countries once again.
One of the first tangible results of the meeting was Turkey’s announcement that the Austrian archaeology team conducting excavations at Ephesus, which had to be stopped in 2016, may resume their activities there again.
This is scientific research with an economic and tourism-related dimension which has united us since 1895,
she said, pleased with this development.
Another topic of discussion was the Turkish offensive in Syria. Additionally, a new round of Syria peace talks will take place from 25-26 January at the United Nations in Vienna. Prior to the talks and her trip to Turkey, Foreign Minister Kneissl expressed her desire for a diplomatic solution at the negotiating table.