03:36 GMT +318 August 2019
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    A Turkish guard of honor hold a EU and a Turkish flag (File)

    UK Armed Forces Minister Sees Turkey Joining EU in 8 Years

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    Turkey is likely to join the European Union in eight years despite the United Kingdom’s government expecting otherwise, British Armed Forces Minister and anti-EU campaigner Penny Mordaunt said Sunday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Earlier in the day, Prime Minister David Cameron forecast Ankara’s EU accession likelihood at "about the year 3000," while campaigning in favor of remaining within the European Union at the June 23 referendum.

    "I do not think that the EU is going to keep Turkey out. I think it is going to join, I think the migrant crisis is pushing it more that way," Mordaunt said in an interview with the BBC broadcaster’s Andrew Marr Show.

    In mid-March, the European Union and Turkey agreed on a deal under which Ankara pledged to take back all undocumented migrants who arrive in the European Union through its territory in exchange for Syrian refugees accommodated in Turkey, on a one-for-one basis. In return, the 28-member bloc pledged to accelerate the Turkish EU accession bid and introduce a visa-free regime between Turkey and the Schengen area.

    Earlier this month, the European Commission recommended that the European Parliament vote on visa-free regime for Turkey once the country meets all 72 required conditions. Some of the requirements have already been fulfilled by Ankara, though five problematic criteria remain, including the revision of Turkey’s national anti-terrorism laws and freedom of the press.

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    European Union, membership, Penny Mordaunt, Turkey, United Kingdom
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