EU has to keep its side of refugee deal, urges Turkey's Erdogan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday warned that the refugee deal with the European Union might break down if the bloc failed to keep its side of the agreement.

"If the EU does not take the necessary steps and fails to fulfil its duties, Turkey will not implement the deal," Erdogan said in a televised speech before police in Ankara.

Erdogan also announced that "new plans" would be made once the EU had taken in the 72,000 Syrians it agreed to accept in the first instance.

The president warned the Turkish people that they should not expect too much from the agreement with the EU, as it was unlikely that all 3 million refugees currently based in Turkey would leave the country. "We should realize that," he said.

In its deal with Turkey, they EU had promised among others visa-free travel for Turkish citizens from the end of June as well as a renewal of accession talks with the bloc and up to 6 billion euros in refugee aid.

In return, Turkey agreed to take back refugees who had made their way to the Greek islands.

For each irregular Syrian deported from Greece, the EU has to take in one Syrian refugee arriving legally from Turkey until the agreed upper limit of 72,000 has been reached.

Last update: Fri, 24/06/2016 - 08:49

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