Sat, 29 Feb 2020

Brussels [Belgium], Jan 19 (ANI): The European Union (EU) on Sunday denied media reports that it had agreed to new reduction in pre-accession aid to Turkey by 75 per cent.

Citing a letter from the bloc's top diplomat Josep Borrell, Germany's Funke Media Group had announced a 75 per cent cut to the funds Ankara receives as a prospective EU member via the "Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA).""Borrell did not send a letter addressed to the European Parliament allegedly announcing further cuts of IPA funding to Turkey," Deutsche Welle News reported Peter Stano, Brussels' lead spokesperson for foreign affairs and security policy, as saying.

Stano said that the reduction in IPA funding for Turkey had already taken place -- first in 2017, and then in October, last year.

"There is no new or recent decision by the EU budgetary authority on pre-accession reorientation, other than the decisions taken last year and which have been announced and clarified already on numerous occasions," the statement read.

Saturday reported had cited Borrell as saying that the cut was decided in response to Turkey's decision to stage a military operation in northeastern Syria in October last year.

After an influx of refugees to the EU in the year 2016, Ankara and Brussels had negotiatied a deal in which Turkey agreed to prevent refugees from attempting the crossing from its shores to Greece, while the EU would provide funding to do so and accelerate Turkey's accession talks. (ANI)

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