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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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