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Turkish minister decries EU’s ‘senseless’ demands to continue fulfilling refugee deal

March 16, 2017, 12:07 UTC+3

The Turkish minister for EU affairs says Ankara has fulfilled all its obligations under the agreement while the EU has not complied with any of them

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ANKARA, March 16. /TASS/. There is currently no sense for Turkey to continue implementing an agreement with the European Union (EU) on refugees, Turkish Minister for EU Affairs Omer Celik told TASS on Thursday.

"Turkey has fulfilled all its obligations under the agreement while the EU has not complied with any of them. The EU has not made a single step to receive refugees as part of voluntary accommodation. Only a small part of financial assistance promised to Turkey has arrived and the issue of visa liberalization [for Turkish citizens in EU countries] has not been resolved. There is no reason for us to continue implementing this agreement," the minister said.

However, "the issue of severing the agreement should be solved at the level of the president or the premier," Celik said.

As the minister said, "European Commission Head [Jean-Claude] Juncker and Commissioner for Enlargement [Johannes] Hahn are making anti-Turkish statements that do not comply in any way with the EU principles and values."

Celik said that "the EU is benefitting from the agreement while Turkey is not."

"So, in my opinion, there is no big sense in continuing to implement this agreement," the Turkish minister said.

The refugee deal was signed at the Turkey-EU summit on March 18, 2015. This comprehensive document comprises provisions on financial assistance to Ankara for implementing refugee projects, the exchange of illegals for legal migrants, visa liberalization, readmission and the acceleration of the negotiations on Turkey’s admission to the EU.

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