EU to transfer 1.5 billion euros for Syrians in Turkey: Mogherini

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The EU will transfer a grant of 1.5-billion euros for Syrians in Turkey, according to EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini.

“I would like to confirm that we will transfer 1.5 billion euros [grant] out of the second 3 billion euros for Syrians in Turkey,” Mogherini said on March 14.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of a conference on Syria organized by the EU and the UN in Brussels, Mogherini underlined that the solution in Syria is “not military, but political.”

Turkey hosts more than 3.5 million Syrian refugees, more than any other country in the world.

Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests.

Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and more than 10 million others displaced, according to UN officials.

Brussels to host EU-Turkey meeting

Meanwhile, the 54th meeting of the Turkey-EU Association Council will be held in Brussels on March 15, Turkish Foreign Ministry has said.

The meeting of the highest decision-making body between Turkey and the EU will take place after an interval of almost four years, and is important for the continuation and diversification of the institutional dialogue with the EU.

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and Deputy Foreign Minister Faruk Kaymakçı, Mogherini and Johannes Hahn, the EU’s Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, will attend the meeting.

“Turkish and EU sides are expected to meet at an unofficial format before the official session to address foreign policy issues and regional developments,” according to the statement released on March 14.

The meeting will address Turkey’s EU accession, political and economic criteria, alignment to EU acquis, visa liberalization talks, Customs Union and financial cooperation, it said.

The 53rd meeting of the EU-Turkey Association Council was held on May 18, 2015, in Brussels.

The Turkey-EU Association Council was established in accordance with the Ankara Agreement, which entered into force on Dec. 1, 1964.

Turkey applied for EU membership in 1987 and accession talks began in 2005.

However, negotiations stalled in 2007 due to the objections of the Greek Cypriot administration on the divided island of Cyprus, as well as opposition from Germany and France.

Hurriyet Daily News

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