Turkey urges ‘concrete’ action on migrants, visa-free travel from EU


dpa/GNA – The European Union needs to take “concrete and constructive” steps regarding lingering issues such as renewing a migration pact and considering visa liberalization, Turkey said on Friday.

EU leaders declared on Thursday that they are prepared to boost trade and extend a 2016 migration pact with Ankara, but warned of sanctions if Turkey resumes its “illegal” energy exploration in the eastern Mediterranean.

The bloc will take further decisions at a European Council meeting in June, Brussels said.

Ankara hopes putting forward preconditions and “addressing only certain areas and postponing them to June will not lead to losing a positive momentum [with the EU],” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said late on Thursday.

The EU “has no authority” to label Turkish drilling activities as illegal, the Turkish statement said, blaming such rhetoric on “provocations” by the Greek side.

Turkey has been at odds with EU members Greece and Cyprus regarding maritime boundaries and natural gas reserves in a contested part of the eastern Mediterranean.

Ankara said it still “welcomes efforts made with the report to improve Turkey-EU relations on the basis of a positive agenda.”

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