Hungary’s Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto yesterday called on the European Union to resolve problems with Turkey on the issue of migrants and refugees as soon as possible, while Ankara seeks to renew a 2016 pact on the matter.
“The coronavirus pandemic and migration will determine the world politics and economy in the future, and the EU should be prepared for this,” Szijjarto told reporters following an EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Brussels.
Turkey says that the dynamics have changed since the signing of the 2016 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.
Kalin added: “The root cause of the migration crisis which led to the signing of the 2016 Turkey-EU migration agreement is this war. And as long as we avoid addressing this root cause, the Syrian war itself, we will not be able to find a lasting sustainable solution to the migration crisis.”
Last month, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas also called on the European Union to update its migrant deal with Turkey.
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 provides protection to some 3.7 million Syrian refugees who fled the war in the neighbouring country 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.