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Estonia Supports European Union’s Movement Towards Visa Waiver and Readmission Agreements with Turkey

13.05.2011

No. 172-E

At his meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davotoglu in Istanbul, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that the European Union should make rapid progress in its visa dialogue with Turkey, with the goal of waiving visas between the European Union and Turkey and concluding a readmission agreement.

“A visa waiver agreement does not mean the end of border controls, but it would make communication and travel easier. In accordance with political logic, the European Union should first and foremost implement visa waivers for its closest partners, and in that case the candidate states are at the top of the list. Before holding visa waiver-related talks with other countries, we must enter into a visa waiver agreement with candidate countries like Turkey,” he added.

Estonian citizens can get into Turkey without a visa.

Paet stated that Turkey’s development has been swift, the quality of life has risen, the state issues biometric passports, and Turkish citizens do not pose a great risk of immigration to the European Union. “Our concern is over the citizens of third countries that use Turkey as a transit country for immigration. Along with the visa waiver agreement, the European Union must also conclude an agreement for the readmission of individuals, so that Turkey would be obligated to take back those who illegally enter the European Union from Turkey,” he added. Paet said that concluding a readmission agreement is in the direct interests of the European Union.

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