EU vice president visits Turkey after EU progress report
Uğur Ergan – ANKARA
AA photoOne day after the European Union released its progress report on Turkey for 2015, European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans paid a visit to the Turkish capital on Nov. 11.
Timmermans first met with Turkish Foreign Minister Feridun Sinirlioğlu and discussed a prospective joint action plan to tackle the refugee crisis in Europe and speed up Turkey’s accession process to the European Union.
Sinirlioğlu was reported to have told Timmermans that Turkey was ready to open chapters 17, 23, 24, 26 and 31 in the EU accession process.
He added Turkey expected the Schengen visa liberation process to begin in July 2016, rather than the planned 2017, while this would also make the readmission agreement enter into force at the same time.
Timmermans then attended the “EU-Turkey Joint Action Plan” meeting, which Sinirlioğlu, Turkish EU Minister Beril Dedeoğlu and European Neighborhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations Commissioner Johannes Hahn also attended.
Timmermans also met with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu on Nov. 11 in Ankara. The meeting was conducted behind closed doors and lasted around 50 minutes.