EU won't water down criteria for Turkish visa waiver: Juncker

Reuters News
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Posted: Apr 19, 2016 4:32 AM

STRASBOURG (Reuters) - Turkey must meet all requirements for visa-free travel with the European Union and the criteria will not be "watered down", European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Tuesday.

The EU is depending on Turkey to curb the flow of migrants to Europe and Juncker said it had already borne fruit. But Ankara threatened on Monday to walk away from the deal if the 28-nation EU does not deliver on its part of the March accord, namely easing visa requirements for Turks traveling to the bloc.

"Turkey must fulfill all remaining conditions so that Commission can adopt its proposal in the coming months," Juncker told a plenary session of the parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe, Europe's leading human rights organization.

"The criteria will not be watered down," he said.

(Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska; editing by Philip Blenkinsop)