EU says ready to help Turkey in steps to secure visa-free travel

September 1, 2016 7:23 AM EDT

European Commissioner for Migration and Home Affairs Dimitris Avramopoulos addresses a news conference at the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, May 4, 2016. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

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ANKARA (Reuters) - The European Union's migration commissioner said on Thursday that Turkey had made progress in a deal to secure visa-free travel for Turkish citizens in the EU but that Ankara still had to meet some benchmarks before implementation.

Speaking at a news conference in Ankara, EU commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said the EU was ready to help Turkey fulfill the last details of the deal to secure visa liberalization "very soon," without giving a precise timeline.

Ankara and Brussels reached a deal this year in which Turkey would control the flow of migrants to Europe and gain visa-free travel to the European Union for its citizens in return.

(Reporting by Tulay Karadeniz; Writing by Edmund Blair; Editing by Nick Tattersall)

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