Turkey has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with FRONTEX, the EU’s border management agency, to cooperate against illegal immigration, amid expectations that the EU will soon give the go-ahead for visa liberalization talks with Ankara.
“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,” said a written statement released by the Foreign Ministry late May 28. 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, the statement said. In an action plan on the process of visa liberalization with Turkey, the EU earlier demanded Ankara adopt a memorandum of understanding with FRONTEX.
One of the most pressing issues in the liberalization process area is to secure Greece’s border with Turkey, because more than 61,000 illegal migrants have been detected at the Turkish-Greek border in 2012. The EU expects Turkey to begin working with FRONTEX to reduce illegal migration into Greece. The EU has also asked Turkey to enhance cooperation with EUROPOL, and to enter into an agreement for joint operations with it. Last week the EU agreed on a draft text that will mandate the European Commission to start the visa liberalization dialogue with Turkey. The draft cannot be approved before the second half of June, however, due to the French elections.
Source: Hurriyet (English)