- United States
European Union border management agency Frontex and Turkey has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) at Frontex Headquarters in Warsaw to promote collaborative activities in combating the flow of illegal migrants from Turkey to European Union.
Frontex Executive Director Ilkka Laitinen and Director General for Consular Affairs of Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Şakir Fakılı inked the pact.
Turkey’s foreign ministry said in a statement,”The MoU, which establishes cooperation with Frontex, clearly shows Turkey’s determination to work to fight irregular migration and the importance attached to cooperation in this field.”
“The MoU aims to establish the ground rules for joint assessment and the sharing of information and experiences to tackle irregular migration, as well as for carrying out joint projects between Turkish border authorities and Frontex,” statement further said.
The porous border between Turkey and Greece is the major transit point for many illegal immigrants seeking asylum in European Union member countries. So far about 61000 illegal immigrants have been intercepted at the Turkey Greece border in current year.
Secured Turkey-Greece border is prerequisite for any possibility of liberalized visa regime with European Union. Last month, the EU interior ministers were unable to agree on granting the EU Commission the mandate to initiate talks with Turkey on a deal that would eventually introduce a visa-free travel regime with Turkey.
The signing of MoU between Turkey and Frontex will fulfill some of the requirements for the initiation of such visa liberalization negotiations. Turkey maintains for a long time now that Turkish citizens must have the right to enter EU states without obtaining visa.
Tags: European Commission, European Union, Frontex, Turkey, Visa Free, Visa Liberalization