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Turkish PM says visa talks with EU 'going very well'

BRUSSELS (AVRUPA TIMES) Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has said the process of allowing Turkish citizens to travel without visas to the European Union by October next year is moving in the right direction.


"Visa liberalization, refugee issues [and] all these aspects of Turkish-EU relations are now going very well in the sense of mutual confidence, consultation and [are giving] very concrete results," Davutoglu told reporters in Brussels.


He was meeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel, plus the leaders of Sweden, Greece, Finland, Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands at the Austrian embassy in Brussels to discuss a refugee "resettlement proposal" Thursday.


"All leaders strongly expressed support for the initiatives taken by the new Turkish government; we hope the process will continue at this pace," Davutoglu said.


On Nov. 24, the EU and Turkey agreed on a refugee action plan under which Turkey promised to stem the flow of refugees coming into Europe in exchange for visa freedom and speeding-up EU membership talks.


"Not even a month has passed since the Turkey-EU summit, but the most intense negotiations took place in the last 14 years and we are going through a process with the most concrete results," Davutoglu added.


Turkey currently hosts 2.3 million Syrian refugees. More than 750,000 refugees have crossed into the EU from Turkey so far this year.


Davutoglu said a high-level cooperation council would take place between Turkey and Germany in Berlin on Jan. 22.

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