Erdogan says EU membership is Turkey's strategic goal

Reuters News
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Posted: May 09, 2016 8:10 AM

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday European Union membership was Turkey's strategic goal and that he hoped the visa liberalization deal with the bloc would accelerate Turkey's accession process.

His comments, in a written statement, came after he poured cold water on hopes for progress with Europe on a deal to curb migration at the weekend, suggesting Ankara would not change its counter-terrorism laws to meet EU requirements.

The EU has asked member states to grant visa-free travel to Turks in return for Ankara stopping migrants from reaching Europe, but said Turkey still has to change some legislation.

(Reporting by Orhan Coskun and Ece Toksabay; Writing by Dasha Afanasieva; Editing by Daren Butler)