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Turkey, EU 'key partners, strategic allies'

18 May 2015 [14:16] - TODAY.AZ
Turkey and the European Union have said that membership talks remain a “cornerstone” in their relations Anadolu Agency reported

The statement came ahead of a fresh EU-Turkey Association Council meeting in Brussels on Monday.

It was also revealed on Sunday that Turkey is to receive 18 million euros ($20.5 million) from the EU to support the country as it shelters almost two million refugees from Syria.

"Turkey and the EU are key partners and strategic allies in our region. Accession negotiations remain the cornerstone of EU-Turkey relations," according to the statement signed by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Turkey’s EU Minister Volkan Bozkir, EU foreign police chief Federica Mogherini and the bloc’s enlargement minister, Johannes Hahn.

The statement – released after a working dinner in Brussels on Sunday – added that specific discussions took place on how to further progress towards opening Chapter 17 on economic and monetary policy.

Turkey applied for EU membership in 1987, and accession talks began in 2005. However, negotiations hit a stalemate in 2007 because of Turkey’s position on the Cyprus issue and German and French opposition at the time.

To gain membership, Turkey must successfully conclude negotiations with the EU in 35 policy areas, or "chapters," which include reforms and the adoption of European standards. So far 14 chapters have been opened, while 17 remain blocked and another four have yet to be discussed.

Cyprus talks

The EU also welcomed the resumption of Cyprus settlement talks last Friday and agreed to continue to give "full, resolute and practical support to the efforts of UN Secretary General’s Special Adviser on Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide to make real progress on this essential dossier in the coming weeks and months."

The island has been divided into a Turkish Cypriot administration in the northern third and a Greek Cypriot one in the southern two-thirds after a 1974 military coup by Greece was followed by the intervention of Turkey as a guarantor state in Cyprus.

Migration

Sunday's meeting also saw Turkey and the EU work on enhancing cooperation to prevent illegal migration flows, in addition to reinforcing the capacity of the EU delegation in Ankara to work closely with Turkey on the issue.

URL: http://www.today.az/news/regions/140811.html

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