EU approves Turkey action plan

EU approves Turkey action plan


EU states have approve an action plan for Turkey that it is hoped will ease the flow of migrants to Europe.Nearly 600,000 migrants have reached the EU by sea so far this year, many of them travelling from Turkey to Greece before seeking to head north.Turkey made a number of demands in exchange for helping to stem the flow.In a press conference in Brussels, Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, said he felt “cautious optimism” over the deal.Meanwhile, reports in Bulgaria said that an Afghan man was shot dead while trying to enter Bulgaria from Turkey late on Thursday.He was part of a “large group” of migrants trying to enter Bulgaria, AFP reported, quoting the interior ministry.In the Brussels summit, European officials agreed to:

an earlier introduction of visa liberalisation for Turks wanting to visit the EU’s borderless Schengen area
new chapters to be opened in Turkey’s EU accession negotiations

Turkey had also asked for €3bn (£2.2bn, $3.4bn) in aid, something German Chancellor Angela Merkel said EU states were considering.Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, said talks over the sum to be given to Ankara would continue with Turkish officials over the coming days.Mrs Merkel will travel to Turkey at the weekend.”There is still a huge amount to do,” Mrs Merkel said. “But you cannot say that we’ve achieved nothing.”EU sources had said several countries were cautious about rushing into an agreement with Turkey too quickly.Among them were Greece, Cyprus and France.


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