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Turkish prime minister warns EU over visa-free travel

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu warned Monday that Turkey could not be expected to stick to its commitments if it was not granted visa-free travel in the EU by June.

Under a deal with the EU late last year, Turkey agreed to take back refugees from Greece while Turkish nationals were promised a relaxation of the visa regime in Europe.

Addressing journalists at Ankara’s Esenboga Airport before his departure to Strasbourg, France, Davutoglu said he expected the visa arrangements to be finalized by June.

“If it is not carried out, no-one would expect Turkey to adhere its commitments,” he said in reference to the deal, which also promised a financial package for Turkey to support refugees and fast-tracked EU accession.

The agreement allows for the return of “irregular migrants” from Greece to Turkey in exchange for Syrian refugees to be relocated within the EU. The resettlement program began earlier this month.

Last week, EU Minister Volkan Bozkir said he expected visa-free travel to be in place by June.

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Anadolu Agency


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