Turkey urges ‘concrete’ action on migrants from EU

Ankara: The Turkish government said on Friday that the European Union (EU) needs to take “concrete and constructive” steps regarding lingering issues such as renewing a migration pact and considering visa liberalisation.

EU leaders declared on Thursday that they were prepared to boost trade and extend a 2016 migration pact with Ankara, but warned of sanctions if Turkey resumes its “illegal” energy exploration in the eastern Mediterranean, reports dpa news agency.

The bloc will take further decisions at a European Council meeting in June, Brussels said.

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In a statement, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said that Ankara hopes putting forward preconditions and “addressing only certain areas and postponing them to June will not lead to losing a positive momentum (with the EU)”.

The EU “has no authority” to label Turkish drilling activities as illegal, the statement said, blaming such rhetoric on “provocations” by the Greek side.

Turkey has been at odds with EU members Greece and Cyprus regarding maritime boundaries and natural gas reserves in a contested part of the eastern Mediterranean.

Ankara said it still “welcomes efforts made with the report to improve Turkey-EU relations on the basis of a positive agenda”.

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