Turkey: Von der Leyen, Michel in Ankara meeting with Erdogan

On migrants and relations with EU, democracy and women's rights

06 April, 11:25

    (ANSAmed) - ISTANBUL, 06 APR - European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel travelled to Turkey on Tuesday to meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    The visit comes following the road map outlined by the European Council 10 days ago, with the aim of relaunching the fluctuating relations between the EU and Turkey after recent moves by the Turkish government on democracy and human rights.

    The meetings will take place on Tuesday afternoon and will focus on various strategic issues, from migration to regional geopolitical disputes on the Eastern Mediterranean, Syria and Libya.

    In particular, the leaders will discuss the renewal of the controversial March 2016 accord on Syrian refugees.

    The Erdogan government is asking for more resources to continue to handle reception for the more than 3.6 million refugees of the Syrian war, after the six billion euros already committed by the EU over these years.

    For its part, the EU seems intent on aiming for cooperation in development, given the poor prospects for the refugees' return to their home country anytime soon.

    At the same time, a meeting is scheduled to discuss bringing the 1995 EU-Turkey Customs Union up to date, which Turkey has been requesting for some time; as well as resuming high-level dialogue meetings, which have been suspended since 2019.

    In addition, Turkey is pushing for visa liberalisation.

    The possible relaunch of bilateral relations will have to take into account Erdogan's recent moves in terms of the protection of minority rights, with the request to ban the main Kurdish party and the arrests of opposition leaders; as well as the controversial withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention against violence against women. (ANSAmed).

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