Turkey calls for renewal of migration deal with EU

Ankara, June 25 (Agency) Turkey is calling for the renewal of the migration agreement with the European Union, which should go beyond financial issues, the country’s foreign ministry said on Friday. On Thursday, EU leaders instructed the European Commission to prepare funding proposals to support Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. Days before, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told Commission President Ursula von der Leyen over the phone that Ankara expects the lifting of the visa regime as part of a renewed migration agreement.

The ministry specified that the EU aid will be directed not to Turkey, but Syrian refugees, and ensure the security of the EU itself. Confining migration cooperation to exclusively financial issues is a big mistake, it warned. According to Ankara, the EU summit’s decisions are far from necessary actions. While Turkey fulfills all commitments concerning reducing tensions, starting dialogue and cooperation, the EU is postponing making a definite decisions to move forward with the agenda, the statement further read.

Ankara deems this a delaying tactic, absence of will and the abuse of membership in the EU by some member states. In the wake of the 2015 migration crisis caused by a sharp migrant inflow from the Middle East, Africa and other regions, the European Union signed the agreement with Turkey that pledged to stop the inflow of undocumented migrants from its territory. Under the deal, the EU commits to provide Turkey with financial assistance estimated at 6 billion euros ($7.2 billion). Although the deal has been repeatedly criticized, Brussels recognizes that it has had a positive impact.