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Turkey will not readmit migrants if visa deal not in place by 1 July

9 June 2016

Ankara remains adamant that the readmission agreement for migrants will not go into effect so long as the EU does not grant visa-free travel to Turkish citizens according to the agreed schedule by July 1.

Foreign Minister Mevlet Cavusoglu said on Tuesday that Turkey would cancel the readmission agreement if the EU does not grant visa-free travel to Turkish citizens. In a live televised interview, Cavusoglu argued that the decision taken in the German Federal Parliament concerning the 1915 Armenian incidents is a pre-planned move. Stating that Parliament has delayed voting for the very same draft until now, Cavusoglu indicated that the German coalition changed its mind to prevent collateral damages. “Here, the big parties in the coalition, as well as, their leaders are responsible for that. It is not possible to attempt to punish Turkey. First of all, this draft is neither binding nor forceful but they are trying to send a message to Turkey,” he added.

Regarding the process of visa-free travel and Readmission Agreement negotiations, Cavusoglu said that Turkey is willing to apply both agreements, stressing that Turkey has fulfilled 67 of the 72 required criteria. The Minister added that the agreements have taken yet another turn, expected to be discussed once more on Tuesday between both parties. The Foreign Affairs Minister emphasised that an agreement regarding the five criteria is necessary, saying that “Otherwise, if the EU does not grant visa-free travel, we will suspend the Readmission Agreement. This is not a threat; the two agreements have to be applied together.”

Stressing Turkey’s expectations regarding the EU terror law, Cavusoglu said: “We would not take any steps to support or to incite those terrorist who explode bombs even within the month of Ramadan,” said Cavusoglu. Indicating that the current attitude of the EU has damaged the trust of Turkey’s general public towards the union, the Minister indicated that Turkey is still willing to cooperate in the fight against terror.

Daily Sabah

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