The European Union told Turkey on Friday it would not ease travel requirements for its citizens unless Ankara softens counter-terrorism laws that the bloc says are excessive, Reuters reports.
Turkey has been seeking to mend ties, telling the EU this month it had met all criteria for visa-free travel to the bloc.
But Belgium Foreign Minister Didier Reynders said Ankara must first ease its terrorism laws, which Turkey has long declined to do. Turkey says it needs them, given the severity of security threats it faces on its own soil and in the region.
“If it is possible to align the legislation with the values of the European Union, it will be possible to make some progress,” Reynders said on the sidelines of an EU foreign ministers’ meeting joined by Turkey’s EU minister, Omer Celik.