08:17 GMT +324 March 2019
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    Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses members of his ruling party in Ordu, Turkey, Saturday, March 24, 2018

    Erdogan Slams EU for Failure to Implement Migration Deal

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    ANKARA (Sputnik) - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday criticized the European Union for the failure to fulfill its obligations, including financial ones, under the EU-Turkey migration deal.

    "Turkey, despite being the 17th in the world economy, is first in providing humanitarian aid. Why are they [Western countries] not helping? Because they are where there is gold, oil, diamonds. We spent $31 billion on refugee needs, while the West, instead of the promised 6 billion euros (about $7 billion), sent only 1 billion euros," Erdogan said in a speech aired by the NTV broadcaster.

    The Turkish leader noted that there were about 4.5 million refugees from Syria and Iraq currently in Turkey.

    READ MORE: 'Rocky Road': Turkey Playing 'Classic Game' With EU Amid Refugee Bond — Analysts

    The migration deal Erdogan referred to was agreed in 2016 by the European Union and Turkey. It stipulated that Ankara would take back refugees who entered the European Union via Turkey without proper documentation in exchange for EU resettlement of Syrian refugees residing in Turkey, financial aid and visa liberalization for Turkish citizens.

    READ MORE: Turkey Rejects Idea of 'Privileged Partnership' With European Union

    Under the deal, Turkey was promised 6 billion euros in financial assistance. However, amid the uncertainty over Turkey's EU accession bid, in March the European Union greenlighted allocation of 3 billion euros to help Syrian refugees in Turkey in a second tranche under the 2016 deal.

    READ MORE: A Nation Divided: Dropping Turkish Birth Rates Threaten Erdogan Political Brand

    refugees, deal, migration, European Union, Turkey
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