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Belgium: Davutoglu emphasises 'solidarity' at start of EU-Turkey refugee talks03:04

Belgium: Davutoglu emphasises 'solidarity' at start of EU-Turkey refugee talks

Belgium, Brussels
March 7, 2016 at 11:12 GMT +00:00 · Published

European Union officials and politicians arrived for a special summit to discuss the refugee crisis with Turkish leaders, at the headquarters of the Council of the European Union in Brussels on Monday. Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who heads the Turkish delegation, said that the conference will also discuss Turkey's application to EU membership. Speaking on his arrival at the HQ, Davutoglu emphasised the importance of "solidarity" over the question of the refugee crisis. "I hope this summit, which will not focus on irregular migration but also [the] Turkish accession process to the EU, will be a success story and a turning point in our relations in a positive way," he said.

European Parliament President Martin Schulz spoke to the press upon his arrival at the conference, discussing Turkey's membership bid. Schulz expressed concern regarding the Turkish government's takeover of Zaman, Turkey's largest-circulation newspaper. Discussing his meeting with Davutoglu on the issue, Schulz said, "I have said to him once again, for the European Parliament, that media freedom is a core element of the EU."

The EU leaders and Turkish delegation are due to discuss the progress of a €3 billion ($3.20 billion) aid deal signed in November 2015 between the parties, in exchange for Ankara restricting the number of refugees crossing into Greece from Turkey.

According to UN figures, nearly 102,000 refugees have landed on Greek shores in 2016, with a total of 856,000 having arrived in 2015.

Belgium: Davutoglu emphasises 'solidarity' at start of EU-Turkey refugee talks03:04
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European Union officials and politicians arrived for a special summit to discuss the refugee crisis with Turkish leaders, at the headquarters of the Council of the European Union in Brussels on Monday. Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who heads the Turkish delegation, said that the conference will also discuss Turkey's application to EU membership. Speaking on his arrival at the HQ, Davutoglu emphasised the importance of "solidarity" over the question of the refugee crisis. "I hope this summit, which will not focus on irregular migration but also [the] Turkish accession process to the EU, will be a success story and a turning point in our relations in a positive way," he said.

European Parliament President Martin Schulz spoke to the press upon his arrival at the conference, discussing Turkey's membership bid. Schulz expressed concern regarding the Turkish government's takeover of Zaman, Turkey's largest-circulation newspaper. Discussing his meeting with Davutoglu on the issue, Schulz said, "I have said to him once again, for the European Parliament, that media freedom is a core element of the EU."

The EU leaders and Turkish delegation are due to discuss the progress of a €3 billion ($3.20 billion) aid deal signed in November 2015 between the parties, in exchange for Ankara restricting the number of refugees crossing into Greece from Turkey.

According to UN figures, nearly 102,000 refugees have landed on Greek shores in 2016, with a total of 856,000 having arrived in 2015.

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