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Turkey Promises To Uphold Migration Deal With EU

A senior Turkish official said on September 3 that his country would fully implement a deal between the European Union and Turkey aimed at stopping the flow of migrants, but will not take further steps to control migration flows unless the EU lifts visa requirements for Turkish visitors.

Europe Minister Omar Celik’s comments came after talks with EU foreign ministers in Bratislava.

Celik said the meeting ended with “very strong consensus about focusing on the positive agenda and to further enhance the cooperation between Turkey and EU."

There was no other indication that the talks improved tensions between the EU and Turkey, which have worsened after the July coup attempt against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Celik said that the migration scheme will continue to be implemented but without visa liberalization “Turkey will not be very positive about taking new steps to set up new mechanisms.”

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said that would happen only if Ankara met the existing EU “benchmarks” on human rights.

Celik reiterated that the government would not roll back its expansive terror laws as long as it remained under a serious terror threat following the coup.

The EU insists that visa-free travel is tied to Turkey rolling back its crackdown.

Based on reporting by dpa and AP