European Council
Council of the European Union

Remarks by President Donald Tusk after his meeting in Ankara with Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu

European Council
  • 15/03/2016
  • 20:25
  • Statements and remarks
  • 139/16
  • Home Affairs
  • Foreign affairs & international relations
Press contacts

Preben Aamann
European Council President Spokesperson
+32 22815150
+32 476850543

Good evening. Before I say anything else, let me express my deepest condolences to the victims and their families of yet another appalling terrorist attack here in Ankara. We cannot accept terrorism as the new normal. No matter how many times it has happened, we will never get used to it, and we will always fight it. On the 18th of February, EU leaders stood united with Turkey after the latest terrorist attack in Ankara, condemning terrorism in all forms and reaching out in solidarity. Let me reiterate this pledge and stress that we stand together in the fight against terrorism, yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

Events like these also remind us that our cooperation goes way beyond migration. It is about working together on our common challenges. They range from the economy to counter-terrorism, from visa-free travel to foreign policy. And it is about moving forward in the accession talks.

Prime Minister, we are in between two important summits of the European Union and Turkey. At our last summit on the 7th of March, we took stock of the implementation of our Joint Action Plan and the Joint Statement of last November. At that meeting I was also handed the mandate to work out the details of a new proposal to further enhance our cooperation to stem and ultimately end irregular migration from Turkey to Europe.

My task for our summit on Thursday and Friday is to put together the elements needed to make this proposal legally sound, in line with EU and international law, practically implementable, and of course acceptable to all 28 EU Member States as well as to Turkey. That is why I am here in Ankara today.

This is not an easy task, and we have to get it right. It is clear that there is still hard work to be done. Today we established a catalogue of issues that we need to address together if we are to reach an agreement by Friday. I will bring this catalogue back to Brussels, along with the confidence I have in the goodwill of Prime Minister Davutoglu.

Thank you again, Ahmet. I look forward to continuing our discussions this evening and I look forward to welcoming you back in Brussels this Friday. Thank you.