‘Hard work’ needed to patch up Turkish refugee proposal, EU’s Tusk says
There is still “hard work” to do to adjust a new refugee deal with Turkey so that it becomes “acceptable” to all members of the 28-member European Union, EU Council President Donald Tusk has underlined, the Hurriyet Daily News reports.
“My task for our summit on Thursday and Friday [March 17-18] is to put together the elements needed to make this proposal legally sound, in line with EU and international law, practically implementable, and of course acceptable to all 28 EU member states as well as to Turkey. That is why I am here in Ankara today,” Tusk said March 15 at a joint press conference following talks with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu in Ankara.
“This is not an easy task, and we have to get it right. It is clear that there is still hard work to be done. Today we established a catalogue of issues that we need to address together if we are to reach an agreement by Friday. I will bring this catalogue back to Brussels, along with the confidence I have in the goodwill of Prime Minister Davutoğlu,” Tusk said, without elaborating on “the catalogue of issues.”
For his part, Davutoğlu said the aim of the 6 billion-euro agreement with the EU on refugees was to reduce illegal migration and make passage to Europe safe.
Turkey did not bargain over money and does not see the issue as a financial one but rather a humanitarian one, Davutoğlu said.
Turkish and EU leaders will reconvene at a summit this week to finalize the agreement to reduce migrant flows to Europe after reaching a draft deal this month.