Turkish-EU high-level meeting to focus on accession bid, security

DAILY SABAH
ANKARA
Published 20.11.2018 23:48
Updated 21.11.2018 00:58

The High-Level Political Dialogue Meeting between Turkey and the European Union will be held tomorrow in Ankara.

The meeting will look to increase cooperation and address current political, economic and social issues.

It will discuss a wide range of topics, including Turkish-EU relations, Ankara's accession process, economic cooperation, energy, customs union, fight against terrorism, migration and visa liberalization, the Foreign Ministry said.

The meetings will be attended by two top EU officials, Federica Mogherini, the high representative of the EU for foreign affairs and security policy and Johannes Hahn, EU commissioner for neighborhood policy and enlargement negotiations. The Turkish side will be led by Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and will include a delegation from the Directorate for EU Affairs.

The delegations are also expected to exchange their views on the Balkans, Syria, Iraq and the Middle East as well as other regional and international issues.

Speaking about the meeting last week, head of the EU delegation to Turkey, Ambassador Christian Berger, said a political dialogue between the EU and Turkey will be initiated following the meeting.

Regarding the 3-billion-euro fund to support Turkey's assistance to migrants who took refuge within its borders, Berger had said 72 projects have been carried out within the scope of the funding. He added that especially in regard to education for Syrian children, Turkey and the EU have the same mindset.

Turkey and the EU signed an agreement in 2016 to solve Europe's most pressing problem, the influx of refugees to the union. The agreement foresees that in exchange for Turkey stemming the refugee flow to Europe, the EU would pay Turkey 6 billion euros in financial aid. The agreement also envisages acceleration in Turkey's EU accession talks and visa-free travel for its citizens.

The EU paid the first 3 billion euros tranche for 2016-2017 and promised to pay the second tranche for 2018-2019 by the end of this year. Although Turkey fulfilled its obligations, the EU failed to hold up its end of the agreement. The EU has been delaying implementing visa-free travel for Turkish citizens for two years since the deal came into effect. Irregular arrivals to the EU decreased by 99 percent after the agreement.

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