Visa exemption in 3-4 years, says EU minister
BRUSSELS - Anatolia News Agency
EU Minister Egemen Bağış is welcomed by Danish European Affairs Minister Nicolaï Wammen (R) and European Commissioner for Enlargement Stefan Füle. AA photo
Visa exemption for Turkish citizens traveling to the European Union will take effect in about 3 to 4 years, EU Minister Egemen Bağış said in Brussels a day after the bloc authorized the EU Commission to launch talks with Turkey on the issue of visa exemption.
The EU minister held a one-hour meeting with European Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström, European Commissioner for Enlargement Stefan Füle and EU term president Denmark’s Minister of European Cooperation Nicolai Wammen in Brussels. “A new process is beginning with the EU and our aim is to facilitate visa-free travel to the EU for our 75 million citizens,” Bağış said. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, the minister said he held the first meeting on the steps to be taken after Turkey and the EU initialed the readmission agreement on June 21. “The average time for visa exemption is 3 to 4 years, but our economic performance will accelerate this process.” Turkey is now waiting for the EU to prepare an action plan outlining Turkey’s road map. “We want to have it as soon as possible so that we can sign the readmission agreement and start to fulfill whatever is necessary on this end,” Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said June 21. The readmission agreement will oblige Turkey to accept illegal immigrants who enter EU countries through Turkey.