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    Turkey to Get Visa-Free Regime Only if Amends Laws - Senior EU Official

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    European Parliament Vice President and EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee member Alexander Lambsdorff said Ankara should change its controversial legislation in order to move closer to a visa-free regime with the EU.

    BERLIN (Sputnik) — A visa-free regime between the European Union and Turkey is not feasible yet, European Parliament Vice President and EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee member Alexander Lambsdorff told Sputnik on Thursday.

    "My party and I, personally, see no possibility for the full visa freedom at the moment, although we really want it… As long as Erdogan is not ready to change his so-called anti-terrorist legislation, he cannot anticipate that the EU will fulfill its part," Lambsdorff said.

    He said Turkey-EU free regime had a real chance only when Ankara met all 72 conditions put forth by the bloc.

    Lambsdorff said that German Chancellor Angela Merkel's promise to launch visa-free regime by July had been unrealistic from the very beginning, adding that a period between six and 12 months was more "realistic" in implementing the deal.

    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.

    In May, the European Commission recommended that the European Parliament vote on visa-free regime for Turkey once the country met all 72 conditions required by Brussels, notably those related to data protection and anti-terrorism laws, among other issues.

    Related:

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    Turkey Made Progress on 3 of 5 Requirements on Visa-Free Regime With EU
    Turkey Must Amend Anti-Terror Law if It Wants Visa-Free Regime With EU
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    visa-free regime, European Union, Angela Merkel, Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, Turkey
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