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    Migrants disembark after they were apprehended by the Turkish coast guard on the Aegean Sea between Turkey and Greece, in Dikili port, Turkey, Wednesday, April 6, 2016

    EU to Deny Turkey Visa-Free Regime if Ankara Fails to Fulfill Migrant Deal

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    Turkey will not receive visa-free travel to the EU if it does not fulfill its commitments under the migration deal, the European commissioner for migration said.

    BRUSSELS (Sputnik) – The European Union will not grant Turkey visa-free travel unless Ankara fulfills its remaining commitments under an EU-Turkey migration deal, European Commissioner for Migration Dimitris Avramopoulos said Wednesday.

    "[European Commission President Jean-Claude] Juncker was crystal clear yesterday, as I have been in the past: No visa liberalization can be offered if not all benchmarks are met," Avramopoulos said at a briefing.

    Avramopoulos noted that the Commission planned to present its progress report by May 4 on Turkey’s implementation of the deal to pave way toward visa-free travel for Turkish nationals by June.

    In March, Europe and Turkey agreed on a deal under which Ankara pledged to take back all undocumented migrants that had arrived to the European Union in exchange for Syrian refugees on a one-for-one basis.

    In return, the European Union pledged to provide a total of 3 billion euros (over $3.3 billion) to Turkey for dealing with refugees, with a possible further 3 billion-euro provision in 2018. The 28-member bloc also agreed to accelerate Turkey's EU accession process and introduce a visa-free regime between Turkey and Europe.

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    Tags:
    visa-free regime, EU-Turkey migrant deal, European Union, Dimitris Avramopoulos, Turkey
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