Turkish-EU visa-free regime – belated decision, says former minister (exclusive)
Baku, Azerbaijan Apr.26
By Anakhanum Khidayatova - Trend:
The visa-free regime between the European Union and Turkey is a belated decision, according to Turkey's former minister for the EU affairs Egemen Bagis.
The expected cancellation of the visa regime between Turkey and the EU is the achievement of Turkey's policy, Bagis told Trend Apr.26 in Baku.
"I have repeatedly said that if Turkey becomes a strong country from the political and economic point of view, it will overcome all obstacles sooner of later," said the former minister.
Earlier, Turkish Ministry for EU Affairs told Trend that Ankara has fulfilled 55 out of 72 commitments to the EU for achieving the visa-free regime.
It is expected that the remaining commitments will be fulfilled soon, said the ministry.
After cancelling the visa regime, 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.
Earlier, President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker 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 has said that full membership in the EU continues to remain 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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