Turkey-EU accession body to meet next week

Published 06.03.2019 00:32

The Turkey-EU Association Council will meet on March 15 in Brussels to discuss regional and bilateral relations, Anadolu Agency (AA) reported, citing diplomatic sources.

The association council, the highest decision-making body in the Turkey accession process, will meet after a four-year interval, an important step for the normalization process in bilateral ties.

The meeting will be headed by Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini. The EU's Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn, will also attend the meetings.

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.

The Turkey-EU Association Council was established in accordance with the Ankara Agreement, which entered into force on Dec. 1, 1964.

Turkey's journey to become a member of the EU has seen numerous up and downs for 50 years, longer than any other country that has applied for membership in the union. Turkey has been always open to cooperation, doing its part in the negotiations which started in 1963 with the Ankara Agreement, although the EU keeps delaying the process.

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, citizens' rights and press freedom in Turkey. Ankara has also been calling for some time now for the EU to conclude the process either way instead of stalling.

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