Turkey, World, Europe

Turkey, Ukraine to allow citizens passport-free travel

FM Cavusoglu says new measures to allow citizens to just show their Turkish ID cards to enter Ukraine and vice versa

10.02.2017
Turkey, Ukraine to allow citizens passport-free travel

By Diyar Guldogan

ANKARA

Turkey and Ukraine have agreed to allow their citizens to travel to each other’s countries without passports, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Friday.

Addressing a joint press conference with his Ukrainian counterpart Pavlo Klimkin in Ukraine’s capital Kiev, Cavusoglu said citizens would be able to just show their national identity to gain entry into Ukraine and vice versa.

"We want to increase number of mutual visits and tourists. We want more contacts between peoples.

"That is why we have completed preparations for [Turkish and Ukrainian] citizens to visit the countries by only showing their national identities without the need for passports," he said.

He said the number of tourists coming from Ukraine increased by 50 percent last year, adding that Turkey was glad to host more than a million Ukrainians.

Cavusoglu visited Kiev to attend the fifth meeting of the Joint Strategic Planning Group, where both foreign ministers exchanged views on bilateral, regional and international issues. The group functions under the High Level Strategic Council formed between the two countries.

His visit also coincides with the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Turkey and Ukraine.

Cavusoglu said the High Level Strategic Council meeting will held in Ukraine in 2017. "We will together determine the date," he added.

He also said Turkey hoped clashes in eastern Ukraine would come to an end. The minister reiterated Turkey does not recognize the illegal annexation of Crimea and supports Ukraine's territorial sovereignty and political unity.

Ukraine has been wracked by conflict since March 2014 following Russia’s annexation of Crimea after an illegal independence vote. This had followed violent anti-government protests which led to the overthrow of the then-President Victor Yanukovich.

The UN General Assembly voted to proclaim the Russian annexation illegal. Along with many UN countries, the U.S., the EU and Turkey also do not recognize Crimea as Russian territory.

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