Ankara: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would hold talks in Brussels on Monday and called on Greece to “open the door” for immigrants trying to enter the Turkish border with Europe.
“I will have a meeting with European Union officials tomorrow (Monday) in Belgium,” Erdogan said during a speech in Istanbul on Sunday.
He added he would discuss the migration issue after Turkey opened its borders.
“I hope I will return from Belgium with different outcomes.”
Turkey has repeatedly criticized the so-called unfair burden sharing, as there are approximately 4 million Syrian refugees living in Turkey.
In 2016, Turkey and the EU reached an agreement that Brussels will provide billions of euros in aid in exchange for Turkish authorities to prevent an wave of immigration.
But Ankara has repeatedly accused the group of failing to deliver on its promises, because Europe has suffered the worst refugee crisis since the Second World War.
More than one million people fled to the African continent in 2015.
Fahrettin Altun, Erdogan’s most important news officer, said one of the unfulfilled conditions was that the EU would recruit refugees from Turkey.
In the same television speech, Erdogan urged Greece to open the border recently following clashes between immigrants and the Greek police.
“Hey Greece! I appeal to you … also open the door to get rid of this burden,” he said, adding, “let them go to other European countries.”
After Turkey said last month that it would no longer happen that people would leave the country, thousands of immigrants gathered on the land borders of Greece.
Turkey’s decision has led to escalating disputes between Ankara and Brussels and a war of words between Turkey and Greece.
After more than 1,700 migrants had landed in Turkey via Lesbos and four other Aegean islands last week, Erdogan ordered the Turkish coast guard Friday to prevent dangerous Aegean crossings. .
EU foreign policy leader Josep Borrell and President of the European Council Charles Michel met Erdogan in Ankara on Wednesday.
Erdogan felt even more pressured during the recent attacks on the Syrian regime, supported by Russia and Iran, when nearly one million people fled to the Turkish border in the northwestern province of Idlib in Syria.
But Erdogan and his Russian president Vladimir Putin agreed on Thursday with a cease-fire after Turkey launched an offensive against Damascus after 59 Turkish soldiers were killed in the regime’s attacks.