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PM: EU must pressurise Turkey into fulfilling agreements

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Prague, Jan 11 (CTK) – The European Union must pressurise Turkey into delivering on the agreements on migration it concluded with the EU, Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) said after his talks with EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini yesterday.
He said he used here visit “to stress the Czech Republic’s strong interest in the Turks fulfilling their commitments.”
The EU has pledged to provide financial assistance for Turkey and open more chapters in its accession negotiations if it helps moderate the flow of migrants to Europe.
Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek (CSSD) said yesterday the agreement is yet to be fulfilled.
Sobotka said he told Mogherini that the European Commission should pay priority attention to controlling the fulfilling of Turkey´s commitments.
At the next EU summit in February, he would like to see whether Turkey is fulfilling its commitments and if it really contributes to a better regulation of the migrant pressure on Europe.
“It is naturally much simpler to prevent the ships of people smugglers from leaving Turkey. It is much worse to detain these ships once they are leaving the harbour,” Sobotka said.
He said Turkey has instruments with which to regulate the migrant flow. “It is necessary that the European Commission insist on it,” Sobotka said.
He said the Czech Republic will formulate the stand it will take at the European Council’s February meeting based on the January statistics.
Sobotka also mentioned the situation in Germany, particularly in connection with the attacks during the New Year’s Eve festivities.
“It is evident that the mood in Germany has been worsening since the New Year’s Eve attacks. It is also evident that Germany is on the verge of its capacities for accepting migrants,” Sobotka said.
That is why it is necessary that the protection of the outer Schengen border start functioning and that Turkey start acting.
Sobotka and Mogherini agreed that Europe needs stronger joint foreign and security policies if it is to manage all crises, including the migrant one and the anti-terrorism struggle.
He said the Czech government is ready to support relevant proposals and underlined the Czech interest in the project of a joint European border and coast guard being completed.
The government supports the proposal made by the European Commission, he said.
Sobotka said Europe must now concentrate on completing its anti-terrorism strategy, systematic checks of all persons crossing the outer border and fighting trafficking in arms.
Sobotka and Mogherini agreed that security requires an integral European approach. That is why the Czech government hails a revision of the European Security Strategy and the drafting of an EU Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy.

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