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Erdogan, Merkel Agree Turkey-EU Visa-Free Regime Talks Should Continue

© REUTERS / Ozan Kose/PoolGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) chats with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan during the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, Turkey, May 23, 2016.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) chats with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan during the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, Turkey, May 23, 2016. - Sputnik International
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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and German Chancellor Angela Merkel held a meeting Monday and agreed that the Turkey-EU negotiations on a visa-free regime should be continued, local media reported.

Flags of Turkey, left, and the European Union fly over the dome of a mosque in Istanbul, Turkey - Sputnik International
German Government Doubts Turkish Visa-Free Travel Possible Before 2017
ANKARA (Sputnik) — The two leaders held a meeting on the sidelines of the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul.

According to the Anadolu news agency, the sides agreed that Turkey and EU institutions should continue dialogue to assess fight against terrorism in light of the visa liberalization process, given Ankara's priorities.

In mid-March, Brussels and Ankara agreed on a deal under which Turkey pledged to take back all undocumented migrants who arrive in the European Union through its territory in exchange for Syrian refugees accommodated in Turkey, on a one-for-one basis. In return, the 28-member bloc pledged to accelerate the Turkish EU accession bid and introduce a visa-free regime between Turkey and the Schengen Area.

Earlier this month, the European Commission recommended that the European Parliament vote on a visa-free regime for Turkey once the country meets all 72 required conditions. Most of the requirements have already been fulfilled by Ankara, though five problematic criteria remain, including the revision of Turkey’s national anti-terrorism laws and freedom of the press.

On May 20, Erdogan accused Brussels of hypocrisy for delaying the implementation of a visa-free regime for Turkish citizens, stating that the bloc had chosen to concentrate of simplifying its visa regimes for some Latin American countries instead.

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