EU-Turkey agree to delay visa statement
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily NewsThe European Union Internal Affairs Commission’s decision to postpone a statement on the issue of lifting visa restrictions for Turkey was made on the request of Ankara, in order to allow more time for negotiations on the wording, the Hürriyet Daily News has learned.
The text would have required Ankara to first sign the re-admission agreement before any talks on visa liberalization, a demand that Ankara rejects. The Netherlands and Germany were the countries that displayed the toughest stance against Turkey, sources said. The formula, which the European Commission supports, states that Turkey would put its initials to a readmission agreement, (which means not adopting the accord but agreeing to the text), in return for an E.U. statement authorizing the European Commission to begin discussing visa exemption for Turkish nationals. However, EU members Germany and the Netherlands insisted on a gradual procedure on visa liberalization over a longer period of time, but demanded Turkey sign the readmission agreement immediately. Parties agreed on more negotiations on the text before the next meeting in early June