The foreign minister has said the European Union should sign a new migration deal with Ankara so that Turkey will curb the flow of migrants across its border.
Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said after talks with Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, his Turkish counterpart, in Ankara, that Turkey is currently sheltering over 4 million migrants, while several hundred thousand more are staying across the Turkey-Syria border.
Minister Szijjártó added that the coronavirus pandemic could easily trigger new waves of migration, therefore it is in the European Union’s “vital interest” to maintain the migration agreement.
The minister said the future of the EU will largely depend on its relations with Turkey and urged that those ties should be “fair, straightforward, and based on mutual respect”. “Brussels should finally leave behind hypocrisy and double-dealing,” he added.
Minister Szijjártó said that “some members should say the same things in the presence of a representative of the Turkish government as in their absence” and suggested that some members have made it clear in a closed circle that they do not support Turkey’s EU membership.
The EU should also seek closer economic cooperation with Turkey in light of the coronavirus pandemic, Minister Szijjártó said and urged an EU-Turkey free trade agreement, which would reduce duties and red tape in trade relations.
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