Turkey very close to completing 72 criteria for visa-free travel, EU commissioner says

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 28.11.2018 17:52
Updated 29.11.2018 11:56
European Commissioner for Migration and Home Affairs Dimitris Avramopoulos addresses a news conference at the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, March 2,  2017. (REUTERS Photo)
European Commissioner for Migration and Home Affairs Dimitris Avramopoulos addresses a news conference at the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, March 2, 2017. (REUTERS Photo)

Turkey is very close to fulfilling all of the 72 benchmarks for visa-free travel for Turkish citizens, the European Commission said Wednesday.

Stating that Turkey had met nearly all of the requirements set by the EU for visa liberalization, except for seven, European Commissioner for Migration and Home Affairs Dimitris Avramopoulos said that Turkish officials were very determined to complete them all in the shortest time possible.

Speaking to reporters in Brussels, Avramopoulos also stressed that Turkey will continue to remain a strategic partner of the EU.

In March 2016, Brussels and Ankara reached an agreement to take stricter measures against human trafficking, discourage irregular migration through the Aegean Sea and improve the living conditions for Syrian refugees in Turkey.

The agreement also promised to accelerate Ankara's EU membership process and visa-free travel for Turkish nationals in the Schengen area, provided that Ankara completes a list of 72 criteria set by Brussels.

The visa liberalization process had been put on hold for a long time after relations between Ankara and the EU deteriorated to a great extent.

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