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EU opens economic talks with Turkey to revive membership bid

brussels bureau

EU opens economic talks with Turkey to revive membership bid


As part of the EU’s move to seek Turkish help in tackling the continent’s migration crisis, Brussels has opened further talks on Ankara’s long-standing bid to join the 28-member bloc.

Negotiations have stalled for years, but now officials are discussing the EU’s financial and economic rules.

A Turkish delegation was in Brussels on Monday to kick off the talks.

“Opening a chapter after two years is quite a symbol, i think. How close and positive EU-turkey relations are essential. the challenges we are facing, like terrorism and migration require more forward looking constructive relations,” said Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, the Turkish foreign minister.

The opening of the so-called chapter 17, one of 35 in the EU’s membership talks, aims to eventually bring Turkey’s financial and economic rules in line with those in the EU.

Ties between Brussels and Ankara have been frosty in recent years owing to difference on human rights, media freedom and the status of Cyprus.

While Europe has turned to Turkey for help in stemming the migratory flow, the country is already hosting 2.2 million Syrian refugees.

It also says the international community has failed to deliver on financial pledges in the past.

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