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EU refugee deal at risk

Turkey’s migrant deal with the European Union 'will not be possible' if visa-waiver demands not met, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told French daily Le Monde on Monday.


“The European Union does not behave sincerely with Turkey. We currently host three million refugees, whereas the only EU concern is that they do not arrive on its territory,” Erdogan was quoted as saying.


He said the EU had offered the readmissions in exchange for visa exemption for Turkish nationals and this had been supposed to enter into force on June 1.


“We are now in August and there is still no visa-waiver. If our demands are not met, readmissions will no longer be possible,” said the Turkish leader.


Turkey and the EU signed the deal on March 18. It aimed to discourage irregular migration through the Aegean Sea by taking stricter measures against human traffickers and improving conditions for nearly three million Syrian refugees in Turkey.


The deal included a six billion euro ($6.8 billion) aid package to help Turkey care for millions of refugees hosted in the country.


By Hajer M'tiri


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