15:59 GMT +323 February 2019
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    European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker

    Juncker: Turkey Must Fulfill All EU Conditions to Obtain Visa-Free Regime

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    Ankara should fulfill all the conditions and criteria required by the European Union in order for the visa regime with the 28-nation bloc to be liberalized, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said Tuesday.

    BRUSSELS (Sputnik) — Under the deal between Ankara and Brussels reached in March, the sides have agreed to exchange undocumented migrants that travel to EU states via the Turkish territory for refugees accommodated in Turkey. Brussels is also expected to provide Ankara with a multibillion euro financial aid package to tackle the migrant crisis, to accelerate Turkey's EU accession process and introduce a visa-free regime between Turkey and Europe within the framework of the deal.

    "We are working toward visa liberalization for Turkish citizens. Turkey must now fulfill all remaining conditions so that Commission can adopt its proposals in the coming months," Juncker said at the session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

    He added that the liberalization depended on a number of criteria and none of them would "be watered down in the case of Turkey."

    Turkey has been striving for EU membership and the liberalization of its visa regime with EU member states for years. Ankara filed an application for EU membership in 1987. Negotiations on Turkey’s accession to the bloc started only in 2005.


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