Turkey warns EU against 'language of sanctions'
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Ankara's top diplomat Mevlut Cavusoglu wrapped up two days of talks with EU chiefs aimed at soothing relations after conciliatory moves from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Tensions between Brussels and Ankara reached new levels last year after Turkey repeatedly sent a ship to search for gas in disputed waters, infuriating the bloc and member states Greece and Cyprus.
But since then the rhetoric on all sides has mellowed dramatically as Erdogan insisted he wanted to "turn a new page" with Brussels.
In an important move, Greece and Turkey agreed to restart long-stalled exploratory talks on their maritime dispute next week.
Cavusoglu repeated an invitation for EU leaders to visit Ankara in a meeting with European Council president Charles Michel and said he was working on a roadmap for a "positive agenda in our relations".
"No results can be achieved (with the) language of sanctions," he wrote on Twitter.
European diplomats insisted Friday that work is still going on to finalise the sanctions ordered by the members states in December.
The EU remains wary of Erdogan's overtures and insists Ankara must turn its warmer words into actions.
An EU official said Michel told Cavusoglu that Ankara needed to continue to refrain "from activities that might fuel tensions".
Brussels is hoping to see progress in the talks with Turkey and has dangled the carrot of talks on updating a customs union and visa-free travel to help convince Erdogan, the official said.
Many are anxious to keep Ankara on side, as the EU still relies on it to prevent refugees from Syria heading into the bloc under a shaky 2016 deal.