By Yusuf Hatip
BRUSSELS (AA) – Turkish and EU officials on Friday held first ever meeting in Brussels to discuss about a probable intelligence sharing agreement with Europol, one of the 72 requirements for visa-free travel for Turkish citizen, according to diplomatic sources.
A delegation of high-ranking officials from Turkey's interior and justice ministries as well as the country's police department attended the meeting.
Regarding visa-free travel for Turkish nationals within the Schengen area, Ankara had submitted the necessary paperwork to the EU Commission in early February.
According to the sources, the Turkish side has considered seven unfinished requirements for the visa-free deal with the EU.
The sources also added that a Turkey-EU Association Council meeting is planned to be held in the first half of 2019.
Turkey has long complained of the EU being slow to deliver the promised funds for refugees and failing to uphold its end of the deal concerning visa-free travel.
However, after a long time, Turkey-EU summit was held in the Bulgarian city of Varna on March 27.
The second €3 billion ($3.4 billion) worth of financial package from EU will be used for integration of Syrian refugees in Turkey, according to the sources.
In 2016, Turkey and the EU signed a deal aiming to stem the irregular migration flow through the Aegean Sea by taking stricter measures against human traffickers and improving conditions for nearly 3 million Syrian refugees in Turkey.
The deal also allows for the acceleration of Turkey’s EU membership bid and visa-free travel for Turkish nationals within the Schengen area, on the condition that Ankara meets all 72 requirements set by the EU.