EU, Turkey to hold membership talks on June 30

BRUSSELS – Officials from the European Union and Turkey will meet on June 30 to officially open a new area of Ankara’s negotiations to join the EU.

EU diplomats confirmed on Thursday that lower-level officials would meet to open a series of talks on “financial and budgetary provisions” that Turkey must meet to become a member.

Countries hoping to join the EU must complete negotiations in 35 policy areas, or chapters. Turkey’s accession talks started in 2005.

The EU promised Turkey faster membership talks as an incentive to stop migrants reaching Europe and to take back thousands more.

It has also offered visa-free travel for Turkish citizens and up to 6 billion euros ($6.8 billion) to help Syrian refugees sheltering in Turkey.