Turkey’s envoy to France meets with French EU minister

Turkey’s envoy to France meets with French EU minister

PARIS-Anadolu Agency
Turkey’s envoy to France meets with French EU minister

Turkish Ambassador to France İsmail Hakkı Musa on March 9 met with French Minister of State for European Affairs Amelie de Montchalin and discussed Turkey’s relations with the European Union, the migration crisis and developments in Syria’s Idlib province.

Speaking to state-run Anadolu Agency, Musa said that he briefed De Montchalin on the latest ceasefire agreement between Turkey and Russia for Idlib, where Turkey has launched its "Operation Spring Shield."

He said escalation "triggered by the Syrian regime" in the province had paved the way for migration pressure on Turkey.

Turkey currently hosts some 4 million asylum seekers and refugees and provides help to another 4 million in Syria.

The envoy said Ankara could no longer shoulder the burden of migration alone and called on the EU to fulfill the requirements of its 2016 deal.

He criticized the political pact for its discrimination against Turkey with regards to its issues with Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration while noting that the two also discussed recent developments in the Eastern Mediterranean and Libya.

In March 2016, the EU and Turkey concluded a deal to control irregular migration in which the EU pledged 6 billion euros ($6.9 billion) in financial assistance for Syrian refugees in Turkey. Under the deal, the EU also promised to accelerate Turkey’s EU membership talks and update the customs union.

But Turkish politicians have long criticized the EU for not fully implementing the agreement, including failing to send even half of the pledged €6 billion and backing away from its political commitments.