The first visit to Turkey by European Union foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton begins Tuesday. As the nation's bid to join the bloc is on the verge of collapse in the face of strong opposition by some EU members, some question whether Turkey is turning its back on Europe.

There has been much talk on the European side about developing a grand strategy for dealing with a more assertive China. In many ways, China will be the ultimate litmus test for Europe’s new foreign policy.

The Balkan Express departed from Ankara last week and will travel throughout the Balkans to improve relations between Turkey and Southeastern European countries during a 50-day trip.

The 27-nation European Union (EU) has provided the landlocked country in the southern part of the continent of Africa, between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers, 180 million Euros for health, education, food security and governance.

Turkey is acting with a new level of self-confidence in the international diplomatic arena, and no one should resent the country for trying to build up its status as a regional power - or for trying to look beyond the narrow confines of Europe.

When China designed the 2010 Universal Expo in Shanghai as a showcase for its new public diplomacy, it probably did not envision the exhibition would play a much bigger role as a magnet for recession-hit European businesses.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is embarking on a five-day, five-nation tour of Eastern Europe and the South Caucasus that will test her diplomatic skills in a region that straddles geopolitical fault lines.

The complexity of European views on Turkey is often neglected, both in Europe and in the United States. European countries are currently divided on Turkey’s prospective membership in the European Union (EU), but along multiple lines.