German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday that an EU-Turkey deal to halt illegal migration to Europe was bound to run into setbacks and faced big legal challenges but nevertheless had an “irreversible momentum”.
Merkel voiced satisfaction but also caution at a news conference after EU leaders and Turkey's prime minister sealed a pact she helped negotiate under which Ankara will take back all irregular migrants who cross into Greece, in return for political and financial rewards.
“I have no illusions that what we agreed today will be accompanied by further setbacks. There are big legal challenges that we must now overcome,” she said.
“But I think we've reached an agreement that has an irreversible momentum and it was very important for me that we managed to agree all that among the 28 today,” Merkel said, adding it showed that the EU was still capable of taking difficult decisions and managing complex crises.