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Türkiye’s Priority to Upgrade Customs Union, Visa Liberalization: Fidan

Türkiye has given its priority to modernizing the customs union and providing visa liberalization to Turkish nationals, Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan told the ambassadors of the European Union countries, voicing Ankara’s expectation for a positive response from Brussels.

“We have made our commitment to this end clear. We attach importance to the messages given by the EU but they should be put in practice,” Fidan told the ambassadors of the EU countries in their meeting on Oct. 30, according to the diplomatic sources.

Fidan made these remarks as he received the head of the EU Delegation to Ankara, Ambassador Nikolaus Meyer-Landrut, and the envoys from 27 member countries.

Recalling the need for the revival of high-level dialogue and cooperation mechanisms between Türkiye and the EU, Fidan said, “The modernization of the customs union and providing visa liberalization for our citizens are our priorities.”

The EU should exert genuine effort for visa liberalization and also take action to prevent current difficulties in Schengen visa procedures for Turkish nationals, the minister stated. “At the same time, we demand immediate lifting of the restrictions that delay the visa processes of our nationals. The visas given to our nationals should be long-term with multiple entries,” he said.

Another issue Fidan raised was Türkiye’s green and digital transformation. “The inclusion of Türkiye into the EU’s green and digital transformation will increase the EU’s chances for success,” he said, adding this will also deepen economic cooperation between the two.

On migration and anti-terror cooperation, Fidan called for more cooperation with the EU. “We need to be in a more strong cooperation with the EU in the fight against terrorism. Türkiye is playing an important in solving the problems in our neighborhood. We hope that the EU will approach with a more visionary understanding and leave small political calculations aside,” he stated.

Ceasefire should be declared

On the ongoing conflict in the Middle East, Fidan underlined that attacking civilians is unacceptable and an immediate ceasefire should be declared.

“We should prevent the conflict from spreading to the region. A peace process on the basis of recognized parameters should immediately begin. We are hopeful that we can benefit from the guarantor mechanism,” he suggested.

Türkiye says a new peace process should be launched for a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine and offers that a guarantor mechanism can also be applied to ease the efforts. It said it can be one of the guarantors for Palestine while other nations can be for Israel.

“The fact that some countries take actions to ban pro-Palestinian demonstrations while allowing attacks against our holy book, Quran, in the pretext of freedom of expression is a double standard,” he added.

Source: Hurriyet

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