Turkey says not to implement deal before EU visa talks

Ankara expects the EU to allow Turkish citizens to travel to member states without visa in a gradual way.

Turkey says not to implement deal before EU visa talks

Turkish Foreign Minister said Thursday that Turkey would not implement the readmission agreement with EU before the start of talks between Turkey and the 27-nation bloc on visa-free travel of Turkish citizen to EU.

EU interior ministers decided earlier in the day to start "visa dialogue" with Turkey by approving the readmission agreement. EU officials said there could be visa exemptions for some groups, such as students and researchers.

Before his departure to United Arab Emirates, Davutoglu told reporters at Ankara's international airport that EU's decision did not meet Turkey's expectations.

"Today's reports are talking about a visa dialogue without a clear target for visa exemption. Our stance is clear. Turkey does no way accept a treatment different than subject to any other country," Davutoglu said.

In December 2009, Turkey asked EU to start visa exemption process for entry of Turkish nationals. In return, EU asked Turkey to finalize readmission agreement, after which Turkey will shoulder a heavy burden like extradition of hundreds of thousands of refugees or migrants who enter into EU countries via its territories, launch of biometric passports and transition into integrated border management system.

"We have fulfilled our obligations. However, our expectations were very clear while doing that. We asked EU to authorize the European Commission to start talks on visa-free travel in parallel to readmission agreement. Unfortunately, it is not a clear authorization. It refers to a 'visa dialogue' in an ambiguous expression. Dialogue is not a goal, it is a process. We want to see the goal to be achieved at the end of process," he said.

Ankara expects the EU to allow Turkish citizens to travel to member states without visa in a gradual way. However, the Netherlands, Austria, Germany, France and Greek Cypriot administration object it.

The EU, which has launched visa free travel with all candidate and potential candidate countries except Kosovo so far, is negotiating with its neighbors including Russia, Ukraine and Moldova to lift visa procedures.

EU's visa facilitation agreement with Georgia will take effect next month.

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Last Mod: 25 Şubat 2011, 10:54
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