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Turkey and the European Union have launched a dialogue on visa liberalisation and signed the Readmission Agreement

Turkey and the European Union have launched a dialogue on visa liberalisation and signed the Readmission Agreement

Turkey and the European Union have launched a dialogue on visa liberalisation and signed the Readmission Agreement with a signature ceremony in Ankara on December 16, 2013. The first meeting of the “visa liberalisation dialogue” was held with the participations of Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister for EU Affairs, Minister of Interior and Cecilia Malmström, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs. Click here for the Agreed Minute and the Annotated Road Map.

Speaking after the signature ceremony, Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmet Davutoğlu pointed out that that Turkey is historically and geographically a part of Europe, and that they have reached a historical point. Furthermore, Foreign Minister Davutoğlu stated his wishes for this process to be beneficial to both Turkey and the EU and an opportunity for the integration of the peoples. Foreign Minister Davutoğlu said, “We have three phases ahead of us. The first one is the psychological revolution stage that will be starting as of today. Perceptions will change, and a new era will begin in communication between the Turkish and European public with the visa liberalization. During the second phase, cooperation between the institutions will accelerate and our capacity will increase in the coming 3 to 3,5 years. But the most important point is, in the long run, Turkish and European public will start interacting intensively.”

Having attended the signature ceremony Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that the process regarding the implementation of the Readmission Agreement will be executed decisively in order to provide visa liberalization for our citizens at the earliest convenience. Pointing out to the start of a new process between Turkey and the EU, Prime Minister stated that no negative outcome will be experienced due to the visa liberalisation, on the contrary, businessmen, artists, sportsmen, civil society organization members will travel to the EU more freely when the visas are abolished and this will be very beneficial to the EU. Prime Minister said “We are going in order to lift the burden, not to put it”

Cecilia Malmström who spoke at the ceremony stated that an important step for the EU-Turkey cooperation has been taken, said that “We are starting two important initiatives in parallel to each other and integration our people and building mutual trust in this way. These processes will have very significant effects on bilateral relations and our citizens will see the positive effects of these in the coming period.”