Turkey-EU visa-free deal getting closer, talks to continue until October: Tusk

Published 13.06.2016 11:05
emArchive photo/em
Archive photo

The European Union is getting closer to granting Turks visa-free travel to Europe, but talks on this will continue until at least October, European Council President Donald Tusk said in an interview with German newspaper Bild published on Monday.

Asked when Turks would be given visa freedom, Tusk said: "When they have fulfilled all of the conditions without exception."

He added: "The negotiations will certainly last until October but we're getting ever closer."

The deal between Brussels and Ankara to stem the flow of illegal migrants into Europe has been hampered by the bloc's insistence that Turkey change its anti-terrorism law. However, Turkish officials have said that there would be no such changes so long as the country faces active threats from terrorist organizations like DAESH, the PKK and their Syrian offshoot, the Democratic Union Party (PYD).

Previously, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan warned the 28-nation bloc that the readmission agreement would not be ratified in Parliament, should there be no outcome of visa liberalization by June 30. In February, the president warned Europe of a possible end to the agreement, saying that Turkey could let refugees through its borders to Europe. "The buses and planes are not there for nothing."

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