Erdoğan to visit Brussels to discuss visa, refugees and Customs Union with EU officials
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will arrive in Brussels next Monday for a single-day official visit, a statement from the Presidency said, Trend reports citing Daily Sabah.
According to the statement, the president will discuss the lifting of visa restrictions for Turkish citizens, the refugee crisis and amendments to the Customs Union.
Erdoğan will be in the Belgian and EU capital on March 9, where he will meet top European officials.
Ankara has repeatedly complained that Europe has failed to keep its promises under a 2016 EU-Turkey refugee deal to help migrants and stem further migrant waves.
Turkish officials announced last week that they would no longer try to stop migrants from reaching Europe. Since then, thousands of migrants and asylum seekers have flocked to the Turkish province of Edirne along the border with Greece and Bulgaria to make their way into Europe.
The refugee crisis has been the main topic of discussion between Turkey and the EU recently after the former’s decision not to hold back migrants anymore as it already hosts over four millions of them.
The Greek reaction to refugees has been harsh, with several killed and many battered, attacked and teargassed by Greek forces.
Turkey's decision on asylum seekers was made after 34 Turkish soldiers were killed by forces of Syria’s Bashar Assad regime in Idlib, northwestern Syria last week.
The Turkish soldiers were working to protect local civilians under a 2018 deal with Russia under which acts of aggression are prohibited in the region.
Turkey, which already hosts some 3.7 million Syrian migrants, more than any country in the world, says it cannot absorb another refugee wave.