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EU-Turkey migrant deal to top agenda as Germany’s interior minister heads east


EU-Turkey migrant deal to top agenda as Germany’s interior minister heads east

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Photo: AP

Germany’s interior minister will meet with leaders of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party today to discuss the 2016 EU-Turkey refugee deal.

The original agreement promised Turkey $6.6 billion as well as visa-free travel for Turkish citizens. However, Turkish President Recep Erdogan says Brussels has failed to uphold its part of the agreement.

For their part, European leaders have criticised Turkey for failing to enforce measures to combat human trafficking, not taking action with regards to poor living conditions for refugees, and not following through on cash aid promises. Some European leaders are also calling for a restructuring of anti-terrorism policy in Turkey, fearing that loose control over the influx of migrants might lead to future security problems.

Home to an estimated 4 million Syrian refugees, Turkey insists the country has reached its maximum capacity and that the EU must take in some of the refugees.

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While the 2016 deal has significantly slowed the amount of migrants entering the EU via Turkey, and has arguably strengthened Turkey’s relationship with the EU, the Justice and Development Party will seek a solution that shares the burden of providing a home for the Syrian refugees among EU states in today’s meeting.

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