Turkey must fulfill all conditions to join EU - European Commission president
Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr. 19
By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:
In order for the visa regime between Turkey and the European Union (EU) to be abolished, Ankara must fulfill all the union's conditions, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said.
He made the remarks Apr. 19 during his speech at the meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in Strasbourg.
He said that the European Union won't simplify conditions for Turkey to join it.
Ankara may refuse to accept Syrian refugees from the EU if the union doesn't cancel the visa regime with Turkey, Turkish Minister for EU Affairs Volkan Bozkir said earlier. Turkey and the EU have mutual obligations, Bozkir said.
"The EU must cancel the visa regime with Turkey, and Turkey should accept the Syrian refugees back from the countries of the union," the minister said.
As reported previously, in order to cancel the visa regime with the EU, Turkey's parliament should approve a number of amendments, including the new passports, meeting the EU standards by May 4, 2016.
If the visa regime is cancelled, Turkish citizens will be able to stay without visa for three months in the following countries: Germany, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Iceland, Lithuania, Latvia, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Hungary, Malta, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Greece.
Jean-Claude Juncker previously said that the EU may introduce a visa-free regime with Turkey in the autumn of 2016, if Ankara implements all the necessary requirements.
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that full membership in the EU continues to remains a priority for Turkey.
The Association Agreement between the EU and Turkey was signed in 1963. Ankara filed an application for the EU membership in 1987, but the negotiations on Ankara's accession to the EU started only in 2005.
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