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EU’s Hahn: Timing of solution on visa liberalisation up to Turkey


EU announces more projects under the Facility for Refugees in Turkey: €348 million in humanitarian aid to refugees in Turkey

The parliamentarians had been banned from the air base after Berlin passed a resolution calling the 1915 massacre of Armenians “genocide”. European officials, including German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, have acknowledged the bloc may have fumbled its response to the coup.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last week accused the European Union of failing to deliver the promised funds.

“We both can contribute enormously to a [Cyprus] solution”, said Mogherini. Ankara has sent around 40,000 academics, journalists, judges and soldiers to jail for alleged links to Fethullah Gulen, the US-based cleric accused of masterminding the putsch. She said the main outcome of the meeting was “a strong recommitment to dialogue and common work on all strands of our cooperation”.

Cavusoglu said: “I believe that with this understanding we will overcome the problem”. “And in a candidate country, we have to apply the highest standards, as we applied these standards among ourselves”. “It will lessen the suffering but also restore some normality to children, women and men whose lives have been turned upside down by conflict and displacement”, said the WFP’s Executive Director, Ertharin Cousin, in a statement.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said a concrete roadmap needed to be agreed for the deal, but Hahn said the timing would be up to the Turks.

“The aid is part of our commitments under the EU-Turkey migration agreement but we would have provided it regardless of any political aspects since it’s a moral obligation”, he said.

Brussels agreed to hand Turkey £3 billion earlier this year if Ankara did more to stop migrants attempting to cross the Aegean Sea to Greece and the rest of Europe.

The Package could be an attractive incentive for Turkey to join the EU.

The Turkish minister reiterated Turkey’s demand that the delivery of funds to help refugees be accelerated, saying “this should not be locked up by red tape; more practical steps need to be taken”. Mogherini spoke of a “window of more than hope” that a Cyprus accord can be achieved.

Cyprus is divided between a Greek-speaking south and a Turkish-speaking north. Turkey doesn’t recognize Cyprus as a state and only recognizes a Turkish Cypriot declaration of independence.

EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn said he shares Turkey’s view that chapters 23 and 24 — that deal with justice, the judiciary, fundamental rights and freedoms and security — should be opened, and that a Cyprus peace deal would make that happen. Only 16 of the 35 chapters have been discussed with Turkey until now.

Turkey s bid to join the European Union dates back to the 1960s with formal talks starting in 2005 but the duration of the process has caused severe rancour in Ankara.