Turkey, EU agree to cooperate in fight against irregular migration

Turkey and the European Union (EU) agreed to intensify cooperation to overcome the common problem on migration flow and to fight irregular migration, said a joint statement on Thursday.

The statement was released after the meeting between Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and visiting European Commission Vice President Jacques Barrot and Swedish Migration Minister Tobias Billstrom in the Turkish capital of Ankara.

Such a cooperation would be a sign of commitments regarding common understanding, international burden sharing, solidarity, and common responsibility, said the statement.

It said Turkey and EU agreed to establish a regular dialogue on population movements, migration, asylum and visa, to strengthen relations on visa policies in order to encourage intersocietal contact, to sign readmission agreements between Turkey and European communities and to exert joint efforts to put these agreements into practice.

The statement added that EU was ready to evaluate the issue of additional technical and financial assistance regarding migration, border management and supervision, irregular migration, fight against human trafficking and smuggling, refugees and asylum-seekers.

Turkey started its negotiation for EU membership in 2005, but it met a opposing group of some EU members. So far, it only opened talks with 11 out of the 35 policy areas that candidates must complete.

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