Days before the first anniversary of the deal, Turkey’s top diplomat has vowed to “cancel” it if the EU fails to deliver on its part of the agreement. Relations with Germany and The Netherlands have taken a dive.
Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu late Wednesday threatened to suspend a refugee deal with the EU amid a widening diplomatic spat with Germany and The Netherlands.
“We may cancel the readmission agreement. The EU has been wasting our time on the visa liberalization issue. We are not applying the readmission agreement at the moment, and we are evaluating the refugee deal,” Cavusoglu said during a televised interview with 24 TV.
Cavusoglu’s remarks come days before the one-year anniversary of a deal between Brussels and Ankara that would allow for irregular migrants in Greece to be returned to Turkey in exchange for Syrian refugees hosted in the Anatolian nation.
Under the deal, Brussels said it would speed up EU accession talks and visa liberalization for Turkish nationals.
However, relations between the EU and Turkey have soured after Germany and The Netherlands prevented Turkish politicians, including Cavusoglu, from campaigning for a referendum slated for April that could expand Erdogan’s powers as president.