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EU wants a constructive relationship with Turkey: von der Leyen

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen adjusts her protective mask before delivering a statement ahead of the second face-to-face EU summit since the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Brussels, Belgium, October 1, 2020. REUTERS/Johanna Geron/Pool

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union leaders will express their full solidarity with Greece and Cyprus in their standoff with Turkey, but the EU wants a de-escalation of tensions with Ankara and a constructive relationship, the head of the European Commission said.

Speaking to reporters on entering a summit of EU leaders, Ursula von der Leyen told reporters there were two options for the EU in its relations with Turkey.

“Either the tensions are rising, which is not what we want, or there is a de-escalation and we are moving towards a constructive relationship -- this is what we want,” she said.

Reporting by Jan Strupczewski and Marine Strauss

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