Turkey, EU hold visa liberalization talks in Ankara

Turkish Foreign Ministry said officials debated working plan Ankara offered to Brussels in February

Turkey, EU hold visa liberalization talks in Ankara

World Bulletin / News Desk

Turkish and European Union officials have met in Ankara to discuss a visa-free regime for Turkish nationals which is a part of a refugee deal between the two, a diplomatic source said Friday.

Mehmet Samsar, the director general of consular affairs with the Turkish Foreign Ministry, and EU Commission's Deputy Director-General Migration and Home Affairs Simon Mordue co-chaired Thursday's meeting, the source said on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media.

Officials from Turkey's EU, justice, and interior ministries have also participated in the meeting which addressed a working plan submitted by Turkey to Brussels in February.

In 2016, Turkey and the EU signed a deal aiming to stem the irregular migration flow through the Aegean Sea by taking stricter measures against human traffickers and improving conditions for nearly three million Syrian refugees in Turkey.

The deal also allows for the acceleration of Turkey’s EU membership bid and visa-free travel for Turkish nationals within the Schengen area, on the condition that Ankara meets all 72 requirements set by the EU.

EU Commission has expressed "gratitude" over the revitalization of the Visa Liberalization Dialogue, said the source, adding that the EU side had welcomed the roadmap as a "positive step" towards the fulfillment of the remaining criteria.

Turkey has long complained of the EU being slow to deliver the promised funds for refugees and failing to uphold its end of the deal concerning visa-free travel.

Both Turkish and the EU side have agreed on continuing technical talks, the source added.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 01 Haziran 2018, 16:26