European Council President Charles Michel. (Geoffroy van der Hasselt/AFP via Getty Images)

EU, Ankara to Review 2016 Deal over Support for Migrants

The European Union, under pressure from Turkey, has decided to revisit an agreement signed in 2016 in which it pledged close to $7 billion in assistance to help Ankara cover the costs of hosting close to 4 million migrants. The move came out of talks held in Brussels on Monday between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and top EU officials, including European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. Erdogan, alarmed at the prospect of hosting further refugees now heading north from embattled areas of Syria, put pressure on Europe by allowing tens of thousands of refugees to make their way to the Greek border – in many cases even busing them. Greece, for its part, is refusing to let them cross, and Erdogan is seen as clearly using the heartbreaking and occasionally ugly outcome to press Europe to up its support. Following the Monday meetings, Michel said the EU’s foreign policy chief and Turkey’s foreign minister would confer “in the next days to clarify the implementation of the deal… and be certain we are on the same page.”

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