European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said ahead of talks with President Tayyip Erdogan on Monday that Turkey must move refugees and migrants away from the Greek border.
“It was the Turkish president who said the EU borders were open. They were not open, they are not open, they won’t be open,” von der Leyen stressed during a press conference.
“Finding a solution to this situation will require relieving the pressure that is put on the border,” she added.
She said ensuring the right to asylum, support for both Turkey and Greece, as well as moving people – especially minors – stranded on the Greek islands to mainland Europe were immediately needed too.
At the same time, she also called on Greece to respect asylum rules and says that use of excessive force is unacceptable.
“We have made a good start in these first 100 days. We will work hard every single day to deliver a good future for the next generations of Europeans.”
President @vonderleyen on the achievements of the #vdLCommission’s first 100 days.https://t.co/8hLA1HMP7w
— European Commission 🇪🇺 (@EU_Commission) March 9, 2020
Erdogan is traveling to Brussels for talks with von der Leyen and the President of the European Council, Charles Michel. The meetings, scheduled to start at 6:00 p.m. local time, follow a phone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday.
Top on the agenda of the Turkish President is renegotiation of the EU-Tukey deal of 2016 and more EU funds “so that he can deal with the refugees and migrants problem” in his country.
International media reported over the weekend that Erdogan wants 500 million euros and more surveillance by the Turkish authorities on the money – that is normally distributed to international refugee organizations and NGOs.
Furthermore, he also wants that Turkish citizens enter the EU without visa.
Whatever von der Leyen, Michel and Erdogan put on the negotiations table on Monday, the EU member-states will decide about it at the next Summit on March 22-23.
PS Until the new deal is officially sealed, Turkey will keep weaponazing migrants at its border with Greece, I am afraid.