December 16, 2018

Turkey fulfills all obligations to EU

10 February 2018, 08:19 | Devin Moran

Politico: Erdoğan invited to EU summit in Bulgaria

EU-Turkey Summit to be Held in Varna, Bulgaria in March

Mr Kalin said he hoped the right to visa-free travel would be implemented in 2018, adding that it would give "a new momentum to Turkish-EU relations".

"Certain arrangements were made in a way that will not pave the way for the weakening of Turkey's struggle against terrorism and these were submitted to the EU", Kalin said.

Earlier on Wednesday, Turkish EU Affairs Minister Omer Celik said Ankara had finalized a draft document for Turkish citizens to travel to Schengen countries visa-free and would be submitting it to the EU Commission soon.

AP reported that it could not immediately reach the European Commission, which verifies compliance, for comment. A spokeswoman acknowledged that Turkey's ambassador had "handed over a paper regarding the remaining visa liberalisation benchmarks" to Commission vice president Frans Timmermans. But Turkey has always been irritated that Brussels has not yet approved visa liberalisation because of its continued calls for Ankara to reform its anti-terror laws.

European states have expressed mounting concern over Turkey's human rights record since the government in Ankara quashed an attempted coup in July 2016, as a result of which Turkey's EU pre-accession process has been all but frozen.

Mr Kalin said: "Certain arrangements were made in a way that will not pave the way for weakening Turkey's struggle against terrorism, and these were submitted to the European Union".

Bulgarian leader Boyko Borissov will a meeting on March 26 in Varna of EU Council president Donald Tusk, Commission president Jean-Claude Junker and the Turkish president - in an attempt to warm soured relations with Ankara.

The EU Commission will assess Turkey's position paper in terms of meeting its requirements.

Top European Union officials will meet Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in Bulgaria on March 26 to discuss EU-Turkey relations as well as regional and worldwide issues, an EU spokesman said on Tuesday.

"This occasion will also serve to share our views on how to move our relationship forward, on the basis of mutual respect and common interests", Juncker and Tusk said.

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