Turkish FM to speak at Syria conference, attend EU-Turkey Association Council

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 12.03.2019 00:20

Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu will be giving a speech at the Syria Conference 2019 along with his Jordanian and Lebanese counterparts. Çavuşoğlu is expected to inform the participants about Turkey's humanitarian efforts at home and in Syria. The latest developments regarding the trilateral summit on Syria between Turkey, Russia and Iran as part of the Astana process will also be brought forward by the top Turkish diplomat.

After the conclusion of the Syria Conference, Brussels will this time witness a meeting of the EU-Turkish Association Council on Friday. The association council, the highest decision-making body in the Turkey accession process, will meet after a four-year interval. The Turkish side will be represented by Çavuşoğlu and EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini will speak on behalf of the EU.

Visa liberalization, updates in the customs union, Turkey's accession process to the EU and cooperation in the fight against terrorism are expected to be the main agenda topics of the meeting. Despite the recent normalization in ties, EU members have noted that the negotiations have come to a de facto standstill and pointed out their concerns over claims of regression in terms of the rule of law and freedoms in Turkey.

In response, Ankara calls on Brussels to open the chapters of the EU acquis that will require the country to carry out reforms. In a challenging move, Turkish diplomats repeatedly requested that the EU open Chapter 23 on judicial and fundamental rights and Chapter 24 on justice, security and freedoms.

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