German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on Monday called on the European Union to update its 2016 migrant deal with Ankara while pointing to the need for further funding,
“We need an update to our migration cooperation with Turkey,” Maas told German newspaper Die Welt, noting that the EU must acknowledge that the country has taken on a “not-inconsiderable migration burden’’ for Europe.
Turkey and EU in 2016 agreed on a deal that aimed to cut the influx of Syrian refugees arriving into Greece. According to the deal, the EU promised the allocation of 6 billion euro in aid to Turkey to be provided in two instalments, which would be used for projects to help migrants.
Turkey has repeatedly accused the bloc of failing to fulfil its promise to help Turkey accommodate Syrians refugees in the country, which number around 3.6 million and failing to provide the full funding as part of the agreement.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has threatened on several occasions to open Turkey’s borders and allow refugees to flood Europe.
Maas on Monday said that a new accord would likely mean additional funding for Turkey.
“I don’t want to put any numbers out into the world, but it is completely clear that it won’t work without money,” the German foreign minister said.