PM Erdogan hopes lifting visa requirement by EU

PM Erdogan hopes lifting visa requirement by EU
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan who has slammed the European Union over its strict visa policy on Turkish citizens, said he still keeps his hopes that the problem would be resolved in near future Today`s Zaman reported.

"Latin American countries, which has nothing to do with the EU can get in and out easily. But Turkey, as a negotiating candidate country, is denied visa exemption," Erdoğan told a joint press conference with his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte after a bilateral meeting in the Turkish capital, Ankara.

Erdogan, however, sounded hopeful that the Union would eventually lift visa requirements on Turks, saying, "sooner or later this problem will be overcome," calling on Netherlands to extend its support on the issue.

Touching on economic relations between Turkey and Netherlands, Erdoğan said the bilateral trade volume in 2011 was 7 billion euros, adding that the figure reached to 4 billion euros in the first seven months of 2012.

Erdoğan said there were two thousand Dutch companies operating in Turkey, addressing the advanced level of trade and economic cooperation.

Rutte, on his part, said Turkey was paying effort to align with the European Union criteria, adding that he believed the country would 'certainly join the EU in time.'

To the ongoing Syrian conflict, Rutte said Turkey has "shouldered a heavy burden" regarding Syrian refugees, adding that his country has pledged to make aid worth of 2 million euros.

Both countries have been celebrating 400th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Turkey and Netherlands with numerous occasions and events.

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