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Last Updated:[16-07-2010 05:31:39 EDT] Zoom in Zoom out Back to Tradenews

Portugal and Turkey Ink Landmark Visa Exemption Deal

tradenews Turkish Foreign Minister's one day visit to Portugal has culminated in the signing of a mutually beneficial partial visa exemption agreement. According to the deal, citizens of both countries who have special or service passports will be able to travel to each other's country without a visa for 90 days within a six-month-period.

During the visit to the Portugal's capital Lisbon, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu met with his Portuguese counterpart Luis Amado for the signing of the deal as well as to hold diplomatic talks. Davutoglu while signing the accord stated the bilateral trade between Turkey and Portugal had reached $826mn last year, and there was great prospect of improving from the current value.

Now the deal will go through a formal ratification process by both the countries' parliaments. The effective date will be declared once the deal is approved by the respective houses.

The similar facilitation of the new deal has been a longstanding demand of Turkey with the EU as agreements signed by the EU and Turkey necessitate that Turks be exempted from visas. However, the EU's recent nod to three Balkan states including Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro for visa-free travel to their nationals has heightened the Turkish demand for such relaxation is extended to its citizens too.

It should be recalled, last year, the European Court of Justice has issued a ruling paving the way for Turkish businesspeople providing services in the EU member states to enter the EU without having to obtain visas first under a 1973 deal called the Additional Protocol to the Ankara Agreement. While speaking at the occasion, the Portuguese Foreign Minister said that Portugal hoped the membership negotiations would be concluded as soon as possible.

At the sidelines of his official visit, the Turkish Foreign Minister also met up with the visiting Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki to discuss bilateral co-operation and trilateral agreements on exchange of fuel for the Tehran research reactor. A tripartite agreement on the exchange of uranium was reached May 17 between Iran, Turkey and Brazil.

By Jose Roy

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