Turkey to hold talks with European Union as standoff over migrants continues

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will visit Brussels on Monday for talks with European Union officials amid a standoff between Ankara and Brussels over sharing of responsibility for refugees and migrants.

Thousands of migrants have massed at Turkey’s land border with EU-member Greece after Erdogan’s government made good on a long-standing threat and announced that Turkey — which is home to more than 3.5 million Syrian refugees — would no longer prevent migrants and refugees from crossing into EU countries.

There have been no reports of migrants massing at Turkey’s border with EU-member Bulgaria, with the issue concentrated at Greek borders.

Erdogan has demanded Europe shoulder more of the burden of caring for refugees. He has accused the EU of not meeting its obligations, including failing to pay money promised to Turkey under a 2016 EU-Turkish deal to stem the flow of migrants to Europe. The EU says it is disbursing the funds.

The Turkish leader is scheduled to meet with European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to discuss the 2016 deal. Erdogan was also scheduled to meet with NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg, his office said.

The 2016 deal, which slashed the number of migrants arriving in Europe, called for Turkey to halt the flow of Europe-bound migrants and refugees in exchange for up to 6 billion euros ($6.7 billion) in aid for Syrian refugees on its territory, fast-track EU membership and visa-free travel to Europe for Turkish citizens.

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