Türkiye seeks progress in visa-free regime with EU

Türkiye seeks progress in visa-free regime with EU

Ankara has met 66 of 72 requirements listed in roadmap as part of Visa Liberalization Dialogue

By Selen Temizer

BRUSSELS (AA) - Amid rejuvenated relations with the EU, Ankara wants progress in the visa liberalization dialogue, one of the key agenda items that has been in a deadlock for a long time.

Anadolu compiled details on the blockage of the Visa Liberalization Dialogue, which is one of the important issues in Türkiye-EU relations.

Following Türkiye's general and presidential elections in May, the comments from Brussels, stressing the "importance of cooperation with Türkiye" set the tone for the continuation of the ties in "strategic and forward-looking" principles.

In June, EU leaders mandated the bloc’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell to draw a new report on EU-Türkiye relations.

At the NATO Summit in Vilnius, Sweden promised to "actively support efforts to reinvigorate" Türkiye-EU relations, after Ankara agreed to forward to the parliament the Nordic country's bid to join NATO for a ratification vote.

In addition, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also called on the EU to "open the way for Türkiye" at the summit.

The issue took the spotlight after Borrell's remarks that Ankara's demands for visa liberalization and updating the Customs Union were among topics on the table during the EU Foreign Ministers' Meeting last month.

Borrell said that there is a "reciprocal interest" in developing a "stronger relationship" between Türkiye and the EU.

The relationship with Türkiye has "two ways," Borrell said. It is "not just what Türkiye expects from EU but also what EU expects from Türkiye," he added.

- Visa Liberalization Dialogue

The Visa Liberalization Dialogue, which aims to lift the Schengen visa requirement for Turkish citizens during their short stays in the Schengen Area, is among the issues expected to be taken up in the coming days.

Once it is finalized, all Turkish citizens with biometric passports will be able to travel for short stays in the Schengen Area without a visa for business, family, or touristic purposes.

The Schengen visa is valid for all EU member states except the UK and Ireland. Although Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein are not EU members, they are included in the Schengen system.

The dialogue was launched on Dec. 16, 2013, in parallel with the signature of the Türkiye-EU Readmission Agreement, based on the "Roadmap towards a visa-free regime with Türkiye," a document setting out the requirements that need to be met.

Ankara has met 66 of the 72 requirements listed into the roadmap organized in five thematic groups.

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