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Cyprus objections could derail EU‒Turkey migrant deal

brussels bureau

Cyprus objections could derail EU‒Turkey migrant deal


Cyprus said on Tuesday it won’t back any acceleration of negotiations for Turkey’s EU membership, jeopardising an accord between the EU and Ankara.

The EU wants to finalise a deal with Turkey over the return of refugees and migrants ahead of Thursday’s summit in Brussels.

Ankara has demanded faster EU entry talks in return for its help in stemming the flow of refugees into Europe.

President of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, said: “the Republic of Cyprus does not intend to consent to the opening of any chapters if Turkey does not fulfill it’s obligations as described in the negotiating framework.”

The European Council president Donald Tusk was in Cyprus and Ankara on Tuesday as part of negotiations.

France and Spain say they have humanitarian concerns over the so –called “one-to-one” deal which would resettle one Syrian refugee from camps in Turkey for every migrant returned from Greece.

The controversial plan is designed to deter migrants from coming to Greece by boat.

The Dutch foreign minister, Bert Koenders, believes a deal is possible despite objections: “I’m relatively optimistic about the possibility to come to a good package deal at the end of this week. The attitude of all member of the council this morning was constructive,” he said.

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