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German FM urges EU to update migrant deal with Turkey

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas speaks during a joint press conference held with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres (not seen) after a meeting in Berlin, Germany, on December 17, 2020 [Michael Sohn/Pool/Anadolu Agency]
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas in Berlin, Germany, on December 17, 2020 [Michael Sohn/Pool/Anadolu Agency]

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas called on the European Union to update its migrant deal with Turkey, as he highlighted the importance of further funding, Die Welt reports.

"We need an update to our migration cooperation with Turkey," Maas told the paper in comments published today.

The EU is very interested in the migration deal with Ankara being further developed and updated, Maas added.

"In all the difficulties we have with the Turkish government, we must acknowledge that the country has taken on a not inconsiderable migration burden for us," he said.

Turkey, however, says that the dynamics have changed since the signing of the 2016 migration deal.

"The needs are different now. The educational and medical needs, for example, have become more prominent. We should negotiate those changing dynamics again," presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said earlier this year.

In March 2016, the EU and Turkey reached an agreement to stop irregular migration through the Aegean Sea and improve the conditions of more than three million Syrian refugees in Turkey.

Turkey hosts 3.7 million Syrian refugees, as well as migrants from other countries such as Afghanistan – and previously stopped them from leaving for Europe under an aid-linked deal with the EU.

READ: Turkey's Erdogan calls to end human tragedy in Syria

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