EU foreign affairs chief Mogherini visits Turkey

The European Union's new foreign affairs chief is visiting Turkey to discuss the country's troubled membership bid and the crisis in neighboring Syria and Iraq.

Federica Mogherini, accompanied by the EU commissioners for humanitarian affairs and enlargement, is scheduled to meet with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and other officials on Monday. She then travels to Turkey's border with Syria to meet with refugees.

Turkey's talks on joining the EU began in 2005 but have long been effectively stalled, mainly due to Turkey's dispute with EU member Cyprus and skepticism in some European nations about admitting such a populous, largely Muslim country.

Mogherini said her visit was a "strong indication of the strategic importance of the EU-Turkey relationship and our desire to step up engagement in view of shared interests."