Reuters International

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier speaks during a news conference in Tripoli, Libya, April 16, 2016. REUTERS/Ismail Zitouny

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BERLIN (Reuters) - It is up to Turkey to fulfil the 72 criteria that the European Union has set out if it wants the bloc to grant it visa-free travel, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Thursday.

Earlier, Ankara's minister for EU affairs said Turkey believed it had fulfilled all the criteria, adding that it was unacceptable if the deal was postponed unfairly.

But Steinmeier, speaking at a conference on Europe in the German foreign ministry, said Turkey must change anti-terror statutes which could give rise to the pursuit of journalists.

"The ball is in Turkey's court," Steinmeier said. "If Turkey fulfils its commitments, then I would be in favour of us fulfilling our commitments and pressing ahead with visa liberalisation."

(Reporting by Paul Carrel; Editing by Noah Barkin)

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