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Visa agreement with Turkey is near says vice president of European Commission. AA photo

Visa agreement with Turkey is near says vice president of European Commission. AA photo

A comprehensive visa facilitation agreement between Turkey and the European Union is not far away, the vice president of the European Commission said after talks with Turkish ministers in Ankara yesterday.

“The countries who agree to visa-free travel must be able to handle all possible flows of people. This is the key issue and must be discussed in detail. But I understand the process is ongoing and there are several developments also to give visa facilitation to business people and drivers. We move by small steps, but I think a big agreement is not very far away,” Siim Kallas, who is also the EU commissioner responsible for transport, told reporters yesterday.

Kallas paid a visit to Turkey to improve transport cooperation between the EU and Turkey. During his visit, Kallas met with Transportation Minister Binali Yıldırım, EU Minister Egemen Bağış and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu. After attending a ground breaking ceremony for the modernization project of the Irmak-Karabük-Zonguldak railway line, which is funded by the EU and aimed at modernizing the north to south freight connection from the Western Black Sea region to Europe, Kallas and Yıldırım discussed details of railway reform and railway cooperation between the EU and Turkey. The EU is developing its common European air space and aims to have larger air space, including Turkey, Kallas said while stressing that harmonizing the safety arrangements will be the first step in this respect.

May/17/2012

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mara mcglothin

5/17/2012 10:30:54 PM

It seems to me that if would be easy to provide visa free travel for obvious business professionals who have a reason to travel to Europe and are clearly not staying. That simple.

de Wit Hans A.

5/17/2012 2:57:14 PM

@RedTail: key here is the readmission agreement; Turkey has to take back illegal immigrants who came in EU via Turkey. Turkey opened borders with most countries around + give visa-free travel to Egypt etc. Who all will then choose EU as next step.

mistique holland

5/17/2012 12:30:46 PM

@Red Tail, because we in the Netherlands have a populist like Wilders who opposes everything in this matter. He doesn't want Turks to come in the Netherlands visa-free and unemployed!!We have a social state and that means that when you have no job you still get money and the Netherlands can't no long afford thousands and thousands of people who can't or won't work but do want the money for free!!You must understand that is a big problem during a crisis..I don't agree with the PVV, but who am I?

Red Tail

5/17/2012 10:24:04 AM

Mr Kallas says “The countries who agree to visa-free travel must be able to handle all possible flows of people. This is the key issue". That sounds very reasonable. So why do we not just sort out this issue and sign the aggreement?
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