Turkey, EU political dialogue to be held in Brussels

Published 12.09.2019 00:22

Turkey and the EU will hold a political dialogue meeting in Brussels on Friday, according to a statement from the Turkish Foreign Ministry yesterday.

The statement said the Turkish delegation will be headed by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Director for EU Affairs Ambassador Faruk Kaymakçı, while the EU delegation will be headed by the Deputy Secretary-General of the European External Action Service Jean-Christophe Belliard and the Director General for Neighborhood and Enlargement Negotiations of the European Commission Christian Danielsson.

"Developments in the Turkish accession negotiations process, financial cooperation including pre-accession funds, the visa liberalization process, update of the customs union, as well as significant areas of Turkey's cooperation with the EU, such as counterterrorism, migration, security and defense are envisaged to be discussed," it added.

Turkey's journey to become a member of the EU has seen numerous ups and downs in the last 50 years. Turkey has always been open to cooperation, doing its part within the bounds of its capabilities in the negotiations, which started in 1963 with the Ankara Agreement. Yet, Turkey has been waiting for membership for decades as the EU keeps dragging its feet on the process.

Ankara and Brussels also signed an agreement in 2016 to find a solution to the influx of refugees heading to the union. According to the deal, Turkey was promised a total of 6 billion euros ($6.6 billion) in financial aid, which was initially designed to be given to the country in two stages and be used by the Turkish government to finance projects for Syrian refugees. Visa-free travel for Turkish citizens was also promised to be provided under the agreement.

The customs union was also to be updated in accordance with the deal. In exchange for these promises of the EU, Turkey took the responsibility of discouraging irregular migration through the Aegean Sea by taking stricter measures against human traffickers and improving the conditions of more than 3 million Syrians living in Turkey.

Despite significant developments in the control of migration traffic, the EU could not deliver on its commitments stated in the deal.

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