EU leaders have agreed on a common position to present to Turkey on Friday on how to stem the flow of migrants to Europe.
Ankara is set to receive financial and political concessions in return for stopping migrants from reaching Greek shores.
And in draft proposals, for every Syrian being returned to Turkey from the Greek islands, another Syrian would be resettled legally from Turkey to the European Union.
Speaking after the first day of an EU summit in Brussels, German Chancellor Angela Merkel stressed the need to support Greece “not only with respect to the return of illegal migrants to Turkey but also with regard to the situation in which Greece finds itself right now. Funds will be necessary in order to provide shelter for refugees in Greece,” she said.
Europe must now try to convince Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.
Euronews correspondent in Brussels, James Franey, said: “EU officials may seem pretty confident that they have an agreement that will be acceptable to the Turkish government but doubts remain as to whether it is compliant with international law.”
Human rights organisation Amnesty International has denounced the draft deal as ‘abhorrent’, saying that ‘EU-Turkey refugee-trading plans’ would empower people smugglers.
The campaign group Human Rights Watch also opposes the deal.