Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

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In Tense Talks, EU Warns Erdogan to Respect Migrants Deal

Stern-faced EU leaders have warned President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to respect the terms of a previous deal to keep migrants away from Europe’s borders, after the Turkish leader came to Brussels to demand more support. There was no disguising the tension at the European Council after the talks on Monday, with Erdogan choosing to head straight for the airport rather than a news conference with EU presidents Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel.

“Clearly we do have our disagreements, but we have spoken plainly and we have spoken openly to each other,” Von der Leyen, the head of the European Commission, told reporters. Von der Leyen and Michel both stressed that the 2016 deal between the EU and Turkey — under which Ankara agreed to block migrants and refugees from heading to Greece in exchange for billions of euros in EU aid — remains valid.