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Turkey and the EU: Looking beyond the Varna Summit

10 15 1

The long-awaited EU-Turkey leaders’ summit was held in Varna on March 26 under the auspices of Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, the current president of the EU Council. At the summit Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan met with European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

Ankara’s delegation went to Varna hoping to address a packed agenda, including the transfer of delayed EU funds for refugees, visa liberalization for Turkish citizens, the modernization of the Customs Union, and cooperation on counterterrorism. The parties also discussed recent tensions in the Mediterranean that were precipitated by Greek Cyprus’ efforts to drill for natural gas in the island’s contested exclusive economic zone - an act that Turkey sees as a violation of the Turkish Cypriots’ sovereign rights.

As many expected, the sides left Varna without reaching any concrete agreements, simply committing to maintain channels of dialogue. The way that the leaders conduct negotiations in the coming........

© Hürriyet Daily News