REFUGEE CRISIS

Berlin reportedly in talks with Ankara on new migration pact

berlin-reportedly-in-talks-with-ankara-on-new-migration-pact

Berlin and Ankara are in private talks on a revision of the 2016 migration pact between the European Union and Turkey, Handelsblatt said in a report on Sunday.

According to the German paper, the talks are taking place ahead of a planned March 25 meeting of European foreign ministers where Turkish demands may appear on the agenda, amid concerns of a new wave of refugee and migrant arrivals once the pandemic subsides.

These demands include an expansion of the customs agreement, something Berlin is reportedly inclined to accept despite objections from Athens, albeit not within the context of a new migration agreement, Handelsblatt reported.

Ankara is also said to be asking that it be granted more control over how funding from the European Union earmarked for refugees is used, as well as for an EU summit on the issue of migration in July which it seeks to attend.

Citing Greek diplomatic sources, Handelsblatt said that negotiations between Berlin and Ankara are being viewed with “mixed feelings” by Athens, which wants more pressure to be brought on Turkey to hold up its end of the existing agreement from 2016, particularly with regards to returns.