14:10 GMT +314 December 2019
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    Donald Tusk

    EU's Migrant Deal With Turkey Needs 'Rebalancing' Before Signing

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    European Council President Donald Tusk said that is necessary to ensure that appropriate protections for refugees in Turkey and to elaborate an efficient mechanism for the assessment of individual refugees in Greece that would precede any decisions on returning them to Turkey were included in the deal.

    BRUSSELS (Sputnik) — A draft agreement between Brussels and Ankara to address the migration crisis needs rebalancing in order to be signed at the next EU-Turkey summit on March 17-18, European Council President Donald Tusk said Tuesday.

    "The Turkish proposal worked out together with Germany and the Netherlands still needs to be rebalanced so as to be accepted by all 28 Member States and the EU institutions. The objective is to conclude the negotiations Thursday and Friday this week but we are not there yet," Tusk said at a press conference in Nicosia.

    Tusk stressed the need to ensure that appropriate protections for refugees in Turkey and to elaborate an efficient mechanism for the assessment of individual refugees in Greece that would precede any decisions on returning them to Turkey were included in the deal.

    The European Council president added that the sides should also address the issue of alternative migratory routes from Turkey to EU countries, such as through Bulgaria.

    Earlier in March, the EU-Turkey summit resulted in a deal on stemming migration flows into the European Union from the Middle East through Turkey.

    Turkey has demanded an additional 3 billion euros (some $3.3 billion) from the European Union to deal with migrants on top of the earlier 3-billion-euro EU pledge. In exchange for the additional funding, Ankara has offered to take back all undocumented migrants that enter the European Union through Turkey and swap them on a one-for-one basis for legal Syrian refugees who are seeking to enter the bloc.

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    migrant crisis, refugees, EU-Turkey refugee deal, European Union, Donald Tusk, Turkey
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