EU ambassador says Turkey ‘very close’ to the bloc
ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
In a message marking Europe Day, the head of the EU Delegation to Ankara on May 9 said Turkey is “very close” to the European Union.
Speaking to state-run Anadolu Agency, Ambassador Christian Berger hailed the significance of celebrating the day in Turkey, which remains a candidate for membership of the bloc.
“Turkey is very close to the EU, there have been lots of statements made from both sides, sometimes harsh ones last year that have now disappeared,” Berger said.
“I think the relationship is back onto engagement,” he added, stressing that EU-Turkish ties are showing “great improvement.”
Regarding the 2016 refugee agreement between Brussels and Ankara, Berger said the promised 6 billion euros of EU funds to support Syrian refugees in Turkey is in the process of being transferred.
To date the EU has transferred two-thirds of the first phase of half of the full sum promised, he said.
A second phase meeting to fund the rest of the budget will be held with Turkish officials next week in Ankara, Berger added.
Europe Day is an annual celebration held on May 9 that celebrates peace and unity in Europe, according to the EU.