MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The European Parliament's largest political group, European People's Party (EPP), is doing its best to fulfill conditions of the EU-Turkey agreement on migrants and hopes Ankara does the same, the EPP head of press and communication told Sputnik on Monday.
"The EPP Group supports the deal with Turkey. We will do our best to fulfill its conditions within the limited competences that the European Parliament has on the different parts of the agreement and we expect the Turkish side will do the same," Pedro Lopez said, commenting on the possible implications that the recent statements by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan may have on the deal.
"The visa liberalization depends on the good functioning of the agreement and the fulfillment of all criteria. The European Parliament can only vote on visa liberalization if all criteria are met," the EPP spokesman added.
Turkey must meet 72 criteria set by the European Union in order for the visa-free regime between the two regions to be put in place. The visa-free travel for Turkish citizens is part of a Brussels-Ankara deal on migrants, with Turkey agreeing to take back undocumented migrants that had traveled to the bloc through its territory.
Late on Monday, the European Parliament's Committee for Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs is due to discuss the third report on progress by Turkey in fulfilling the requirements of its visa liberalization roadmap. The final decision on the matter is expected to be reached in June.