Turkey’s EU minister hosts German counterpart

Turkey's EU Affairs Minister Omer Celik hosted his German counterpart Michael Roth at a working dinner in the capital Ankara on Tuesday, a diplomatic source said.

According to the source, the two ministers discussed bilateral relations, Customs Union as well as regional and international issues, including Syria, Operation Olive Branch, and the visa waiver dispute.

A working plan for Turkish citizens to travel to Schengen countries visa-free, submitted by Ankara to Brussels in February, is currently being examined, said the source requesting anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

In 2016, Turkey and the EU signed a deal aiming to stem the irregular migration flow through the Aegean Sea by taking stricter measures against human traffickers and improving conditions for nearly three million Syrian refugees in Turkey.

The deal also allows for the acceleration of Turkey's EU membership bid and visa-free travel for Turkish nationals within the Schengen area, on the condition that Ankara meets all 72 requirements set by the EU.

Turkey has long complained of the EU being slow to deliver the promised funds for refugees and failing to uphold its end of the deal concerning visa-free travel.

During the meeting, Celik stressed that the EU and Germany should take efficient steps against the activities of the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) and the terrorist PKK across Europe.

The minister underlined that Turkey's fight against Daesh, the PKK and FETO was not only for its own safety but also for the security of Europe.

Celik also broached the issue of Turkey's June 24 early elections with his counterpart and said they expected cooperation on the part of German authorities in regards to Turkish citizens living in Germany using their democratic rights during this process.

Source: Anadolu Agency