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Turkey Threatens To Cancel Landmark Refugee Agreement With EU


Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu

Turkey's foreign minister threatened on March 15 to cancel a landmark agreement curbing the flow of migrants and refugees into the European Union, the latest in an escalating war of words between Ankara and Brussels.

A year ago while Europe was in the midst of a major migration crisis, Turkey negotiated a deal to stop illegal migrants from crossing into Greece in exchange for the EU giving accelerated consideration to Turkey's applications for visa-free travel and EU membership, as well as $6 billion in aid to care for the refugees returned to Turkey.

The deal has been praised for helping to prevent a repeat of the surge of migrants seen into Europe in 2015 that fanned the popularity of far-right, anti-immigration political groups.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told Kanal 24 TV that Turkey is now reviewing the agreement, and if it finds the EU is not keeping its part of the deal, it will cancel it.

"We can stop it unilaterally... All of this is in our hands," Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Kanal 24 TV, adding that, "Right now we are not implementing the readmission agreement, as there is no visa-free travel."

Based on reporting by AFP, dpa, and Reuters
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