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Ceturtdiena 19.01.2017 | Name days: Alnis, Andulis
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Latvian government supports allocation of EUR 4.3 million for Turkey

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RULatvia will pay EUR 4.3 million to assist Turkey in resolving its refugee problem and support the country in talks with the European Union. This was decided by the Latvian government during talks about the Foreign Ministry’s prepared national position for Latvia’s participation in the EU-Turkey summit.

Jean Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, had invited EU member states to allocate EUR 2.5 billion in two years’ time to provide assistance to Turkey and help the country resettle more than two million asylum seekers on its territory. Shortly after Juncker’s announcement, unofficial information had surfaced that Latvia would allegedly pay EUR 4,381,071 in 2016-2017 in order to help Turkey resettle refugees on its territory.

Initially Latvian officials claimed that no talks about any exact amounts had taken place and no decisions had been made. However, officials have since admitted that this support will have to be provided.

On Friday, 27 November, the ruling coalition in Latvia unanimously supported the plan to allocate EUR 4.3 million for Turkey. Latvian Interior Minister Rihards Kozlovskis explains that the decision in regards to support was made because Latvia has to remain supportive of other EU member states and because Turkey has a big role in resolving the refugee problem.

Kozlovskis admits that it would be best for Latvia if this amount is paid in 2017. It is necessary to first reach an agreement with EC, however. It is also necessary to discuss the payment schedule, said Kozlovskis.

Following the government meeting, Kozlovskis said the conceptual decision of the government contains the request of the Finance Ministry in regards to concentrating the payment schedule on the 2017 state budget.

If the next year’s budget is realized better than expected, it will be possible to carry out this payment next year.

Latvia also plans to support measures coordinated as part of EU-Turkey Action Plan aimed at providing support to refugees in Turkey and help prevent illegal migration flow into Europe.

The ministry reminds that it is planned to look at reports from both sides during the 29 November EU-Turkey summit. This includes elements like coordination of an action plan, agreement in regards to closer and regular dialogue, activation of EU talks, visa-liberalization process and provision of financial support of EUR 3 billion to Turkey to help resolve the refugee problem.

Ref: 103.109.109.9875


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