EU to offer Turkey more cash for Syrian refugees before Erdogan meeting

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, center, attends the inauguration of his ruling Justice and Development (AKP) Party's Politics Academy, in Ankara, Turkey, Friday, March 9, 2018. (AP)
Updated 13 March 2018
0

EU to offer Turkey more cash for Syrian refugees before Erdogan meeting

BRUSSELS: The European Union’s executive is due to approve a further 3 billion euros ($3.7 billion) in funding for Syrian refugees living in Turkey, EU officials said, before a meeting with President Tayyip Erdogan later this month.
Europe’s relations with Erdogan have been fraught in recent years but the EU depends on Turkey to keep a tight lid on immigration from the Middle East, where the war in Syria has killed hundreds of thousands and pushed millions from homes.
Top EU officials will meet Erdogan on March 26 in the Bulgarian city of Varna despite misgivings among many on the European side.
The bloc’s top migration official Dimitris Avramopoulos will announce on Wednesday that the European Commission proposes the extra funding on projects benefiting Syrian refugees in Turkey, the sources told Reuters.
Turkey has accepted 3.5 million refugees from Syria, and the EU is already spending a first 3 billion euro instalment to help them.
Over a million more refugees and migrants reached the EU in 2015, most of them flowing through Turkey. Brussels agreed to pay to help host migrants on the Turkish soil in exchange for Ankara preventing more from trying to cross the Aegean to Greece.
This reduced the numbers to a trickle and this cooperation with a key NATO ally has muted EU action against Turkey over a crackdown on critics, dissenters and civil society following a failed coup in 2016. Erdogan has also attacked EU members Germany and the Netherlands in his speeches.
The bloc has mainly responded by freezing some funding that Turkey had been eligible for as a candidate for EU entry and suspending accession talks that have long been stalled anyway.
The EU will also release in April what the sources said would be a “critical” report on Turkey’s accession bid.


Egypt and Ethiopia to discuss Nile dam dispute — PM

Updated 18 November 2018
0

Egypt and Ethiopia to discuss Nile dam dispute — PM

  • Egypt’s prime minister said he and his Ethiopian counterpart agreed “to start bilateral discussions in the next two weeks"

CAIRO: Egypt said on Sunday it would hold talks with Ethiopia in the next two weeks to iron out differences over an Ethiopian dam on the River Nile that Cairo sees as a threat to its water supplies.
The two countries and Sudan have held a series of meetings over the $4 billion hydroelectric Grand Renaissance Dam, but have yet to reach a deal on managing flows and other issues.
Egypt fears the scheme will restrict the waters coming down down from Ethiopia’s highlands, through the deserts of Sudan, to its fields and reservoirs. Ethiopia, which wants to become Africa’s biggest power exporter, says it will have no such impact.
Egypt’s prime minister, Mostafa Madbouly, said he and his Ethiopian counterpart, Abiy Ahmed, agreed “to start bilateral discussions in the next two weeks to agree on the points that remain unagreed,” state news agency MENA reported.
MENA cited Abiy as saying he wanted to preserve Egypt’s Nile river rights.
The dam was scheduled to be finished by 2020, but Abiy said in August it would be delayed by several years.