EU to press Turkey on ISIL and Russian sanctions

High Representative for Foreign Affairs Mogherini in Ankara

08 December, 12:08

    High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini

    (ANSAmed) - ISTANBUL, DECEMBER 8 - A high level delegation from the European Union is arriving in Turkey on Monday to press Turkish officials to do more to help identify foreign fighters who travel to Syria to join the terrorist Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) via Turkey, as well as not to undermine the EU sanctions against Russia, as daily Today's Zaman online reports. EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini has announced that she and two other senior EU officials, Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn and Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides, will be in Turkey on Monday. Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Mogherini said her visit will accelerate relations between Turkey and the EU as well as signify a fresh start to the "strategically important" bilateral relations between Turkey and the EU. "Our top priority will be Turkey's EU accession process," Mogherini said. "We aim to work with Turkish government officials to give the process a concrete step and move forward." Johannes Hahn and Christos Stylianides as well as Mogherini herself will visit Ankara on Monday. They will hold a quartet meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and Turkey's EU Minister Volkan Bozkir. Hahn and Stylianides will also head to Turkey's southeastern province of Gaziantep, where more than 33,000 Syrian refugees have taken shelter in four different camps. Mogherini also underscored that Turkey and EU relations are "critical" in terms of the region's security and stability. "We are both concerned about the Mediterranean and Middle East region. Because of Turkey's G20 term presidency, they and the EU need to act together during the peace process in Syria and the Middle East," Mogherini said.

    "The EU realizes that Turkey has a critical role in the region and will work accordingly to provide peace and stability there." Mogherini also highlighted Turkey's chances of entering the EU, saying that according to public opinion, support for Turkey's membership is over 50%. (ANSAmed).

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