Bulgarian Foreign Minister Daniel Mitov has reiterated that his country sees border security measures and the implementation of an EU-Turkey readmission agreement as a prerequisite to visa liberalization for Ankara.
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He has told the Bulgarian National Radio, answering to questions with regard of a meeting between him and EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini on Monday, that Bulgaria is determined to stand up for its demands for increased border protection between Bulgaria and Turkey and in the Black Sea basin and actual readmission of migrants who crossed from Turkey.
The first step is aimed at preventing the formation of an alternative to the so-called “Western Balkans route“.
A broad agreement was hatched out between EU and Turkish leaders earlier in March about a one-on-one exchange of migrants who made it into Greece bound for Western Europe for Syrian refugees from Turkish camps who will be relocated across Europe.
No final decision was taken, with leaders of the 28-nation bloc due to meet for a summit on March 17-18.
“Each country demanding visa liberalization with the EU has to fulfill a certain set of criteria, they are 72, they are not few and exceptions cannot be made in this case with regard to any state, under any circumstances,” the minister has said.
On Monday the EU Commission said it had “taken note” of Bulgaria‘s demands but stopped short of endorsing them explicitly.
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