Angela Merkel has promised to take refugees directly from Turkey into Europe and called for Nato patrols in the Aegean on her second visit to Ankara in three months as she desperately tried to enlist Turkey’s help in easing the refugee crisis, the biggest threat to her power at home and the stability of the European Union.
Under a deal struck in haste last October, the EU and Turkey agreed an action plan, with Ankara pledging to halt the flow of hundreds of thousands of Syrians and others across the Aegean into the EU in return for a minimum of €3bn (£2.3bn), a reopening of its stalled bid to join the EU, and the lifting of visa requirements for Turks travelling to Europe.
Since then the EU-Turkey pact has made little progress, adding urgency to Merkel’s talks on Monday with the Turkish president, Recep Tayipp Erdoğan and prime minister, Ahmed Davutoğlu.
The sense of urgency was heightened by the assaults on Aleppo by the Syrian regime and Russia, sending tens of thousands of displaced people towards the Turkish border and with the deaths of at least another 27 people, including 11 children, risking the short voyage to Greek islands from the Turkish coast.
Merkel called for Nato patrols to curtail the hazardous sea crossings and blamed Vladimir Putin for worsening the refugee crisis by bombing Syria.
That Erdoğan is confident he holds all the cards in the negotiation with the EU is evident from the diplomatic record of a meeting in November with EU leaders in which the president dismissed the offer of €3bn, threatened to put thousands of refugees on busses to Europe from Turkey and warned that 15,000 migrants could wash up dead on Greek shores.
The four-page record of a meeting between Erdoğan and Jean-Claude Juncker and Donald Tusk, the presidents of the European commission and the European council, in the Turkish resort of Antalya in November, paints a picture of an EU prostrate before a Turkish leader who treats their offers, pleas, and arguments with derision.
“We really want a deal with you,” Tusk told Erdoğan, according to the leak of the note to the Greek financial media, euro2day.gr. “So how will you deal with refugees if you don’t get a deal? Kill the refugees?” Erdoğan responded.
Pour lire la suite : http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/feb/08/germany-and-turkey-agree-deal-to-help-ease-refugee-crisis