Hungarian ambassador calls Turkey 'key ally' of Europe

Gabor Kiss underlines Turkey's active role in accepting millions of refugees and fighting extremism 

Hungarian ambassador calls Turkey 'key ally' of Europe

World Bulletin / News Desk

Turkey is a "decisive" regional actor and a "key ally" of Europe in fighting against terror and managing international migration, according to the Hungary's ambassador to Turkey.

"Turkey has undertaken an active role in accepting millions of refugees and continues to fight against different kinds of extremism," Gabor Kiss said at a reception hosted by the Hungarian Embassy in Ankara on Saturday.

"We condemn every kind of extremism and support our Turkish friends in their fight against it," he said.

Kiss also commented on the enlargement of the EU, saying there was "now a bigger need" for the continuation of this process.

"This is how Europe can become a global actor," he said, calling for closer ties between Turkey and the EU, and continuation of Turkey's accession process to the 28-member bloc.

Turkey applied for membership in the EU in 1987, while accession talks began in 2005.

Negotiations, however, hit a stalemate in 2007 because of Turkey’s position on the Cyprus issue. Also, German and French governments opposed the country’s full EU membership.

To gain membership, Turkey has to successfully conclude negotiations with the EU in 35 policy chapters that involve reforms and the adoption of European standards.

Turkey and the EU signed a refugee deal in March, which aimed to discourage irregular migration through the Aegean Sea by taking stricter measures against human traffickers and improving the conditions of nearly 3 million Syrian refugees in Turkey.

The deal also allowed for the acceleration of Turkey’s EU membership bid and visa-free travel for Turkish nationals within the Schengen area that comprises mostly EU states.

In a joint statement from November 2015, the EU and Turkey confirmed their commitments to re-energize the accession process.

A year later, however, the European Parliament approved a non-binding motion to freeze EU-membership talks with Turkey, in response to post-coup investigations and recent developments in the country, including measures taken within the framework of the fight against the PKK and the Fetullah terror Organization (FETO) extremist groups.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 23 Ocak 2017, 16:12