Josep Borrell, the EU’s foreign policy chief, said on April 2 that he and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu had agreed to continue to work on March 2016 migrant deal.
He also said that he discussed with Çavuoğlu the efforts of the EU and Turkey regarding the fight against the novel coronavirus, “including our joined-up solidarity with partners in need.”
In March, the EU and Turkey agreed to set up two working groups to clarify the continued implementation of the 2016 migrant deal. The parties tasked Borrell and Çavuşoğlu with continuing the discussions in order to clarify the position of both sides on implementation of the deal.
Ankara says the EU has so far handed over only about half of the six billion euros initially promised to help house, feed, educate and care for the 3.6 million refugees living in Turkey.
Turkey also wants more European support over the war in neighboring Syria, where Turkish troops face off against Russian-backed Syrian government forces.
The 2016 pact also envisaged European countries taking in thousands of Syrian refugees directly from camps in Turkey and rewarding Turks with visa-free travel to the EU.
The talks between the two sides were initiated after Ankara announced in February that it would no longer stop migrants trying to cross its border into the EU, calling for an update of the March 2016 deal.