No Schengen, no readmission, says Davutoğlu
AFP photoThe implementation of readmission and visa liberalization agreements will be executed in a simultaneous way, the Turkish prime minister has stated, offering the European Union to set the execution date for mid-2016 instead of the end of 2017.
“Each step will be synchronized. If you recall, I said, ‘Commitment to commitment, signature to signature and implementation to implementation.’ Now, the Readmission Agreement will be evaluated together with [Turkey’s] inclusion to the Schengen system,” Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu told the TGRT TV in an interview on Oct. 15.
Davutoğlu said Turkey will not take a step on the Readmission Agreement before the Schengen deal is sealed, meaning it won’t accept the readmission of refugees from Europe unless visa liberalization to Turkish citizens is provided. Turkey and the EU signed an initial deal in 2013 with a prospect to complete the whole process for both agreements late 2017.
Davutoğlu said Turkey has offered to quicken the process and to implement both agreements by mid-2016. “God willing, we will give this good news,” he added.
Turkish and EU officials negotiated a draft agreement for possible cooperation between the two parties on Oct. 14 as Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission said negotiations lasted until 4:00 a.m. on Oct. 15.
“I was just with the deputy president of the EU Commission. […] As I told him, we have a common issue and we can resolve this if we can come together over a joint strategy. The best way to do is to share the burden on an issue we see as common problem,” he said.