World Bulletin/News Desk
Turkey's European Union Minister and Chief Negotiator for accession talks Egemen Bagis said visa exemption for Turkish nationals visiting EU countries would be "a win-win situation" for both Turkey and the Union.
Speaking at a press conference after the 50th meeting of the EU-Turkey Association Council in Brussels on Friday with EU's enlargement official Stefan Fule and EU term president Denmark's Minister of European Cooperation Nicolai Wammen, Bagis said negotiations on visa exemption could take three years before Turks can travel to EU-member countries without obtaining a visa.
"Turkey will fulfill its obligations rapidly if the EU shows a positive stance. I am confident that the EU will show the same sincerity as Turkey fulfilled its obligations," Bagis said.
Also speaking at the press conference, Fule and Wammen both underlined that the visa exemption negotiation was not "an open-ended process," saying that the process would continue not on political decisions but each obligation the sides would fulfill.
"Visa exemption will not come tomorrow but this does not mean that this is an open-ended process. But it is early to give any specific date," Fule said.
The EU authorized the European Commission to launch visa exemption talks with Turkey on Thursday in a simultaneous move with Turkey's initialling a readmission agreement with the EU.
Turkey will wait for an EU action plan on visa exemption which the Commission will present in a year before penning the readmission agreement which would allow expulsion of Turkish nationals who entered the EU territory illegally without any formality.
Readmission for third-country nationals will be possible following a three-year transition period which would allow for the construction of modern refugee processing centers.
The Commission is expected to present a visa exemption action plan this autumn and the implementation of the action plan is likely to come a minimum two and a half years.
Diplomatic sources say actual visa-free travel for Turks visiting the EU could be possible within 4-6 years and it would require a majority of votes in the EU.
Turkey demands simultaneous implementation of visa-exemption and the readmission agreement.
Kurdish party says it will apply to parliament to lift immunity from all MPs amid rancor over PKK accusations
Turkish President Erdogan will visit China, his first since he took presidency in 2014 and will be signing a number of agreements.
An emergency meeting of NATO is being held in Brussels at the request of Turkey on Tuesday.
"It is not possible for us to continue the peace process with those who threaten our national unity and brotherhood," said Erdogan, who told a news conference in Ankara ahead of his departure on an official visit to China.
Support for Turkey stems from Gulf state’s ‘consistent stance against violence, terror,’ according to Qatari FM
Aselsan has signed a contract for the supply of a Tactical Area Communications System
Counter-terrorism police arrested suspects in eastern Mus province following Monday night shooting
Plans for a security zone in northern Syria dominates Tuesday's headlines
Turkey seeks to make NATO understend "their intentions correctly"
This will be Erdogan's first visit to China since 2012
Conflict with PKK 'in the past brought so much suffering and grief to the people of Turkey', says Ban Ki-moon
Turkish PM warns against the misconception that since Turkey is going through a transitional period, its security forces are incapable of taking measures
Turkish president informs the leaders about Turkey's anti-terrorist operations
Wednesday meeting will follow Turkish airstrikes on PKK, ISIL
Air strikes by Turkish air forces against ISIL and PKK could change the regions politics
Risk analysis centers at airports, improved border security are among efforts to stop militant recruits