Turkey Makes ‘new proposal’ On Migrant Crisis at EU Summit

sssTurkey’s prime minister made a new proposal for tackling the migrant crisis at a summit in Brussels on Monday, leading EU leaders to extend their meeting, officials said.

“There is a new proposal. We are trying to open the way to solve this process, that’s why this is a new proposal,” Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu’s spokesman told reporters.

He refused to give details of the new offer, but added: “We are not here just to talk about migrants. Of course Turkey’s EU accession process is an issue for us here.

“Our partners have good intentions and we have good intentions and all of us want to solve this. We want to find common ground.”

European Union leaders called the summit to follow up on a deal signed with Turkey in November, under which Ankara agreed to cut the flow of migrants to Europe and take back more deportees in exchange for three billion euros ($3.3 billion) in aid.

The EU also agreed to open new “chapters” in Turkey’s long-stalled bid to join the EU.

Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny told reporters said he believed that one of the issues Turkey had brought up was speeding up the relaxation of visa regulations for Turkish nationals travelling to Europe.

European sources confirmed that the summit, due to involve a working lunch with Davutoğlu followed by a meeting of the 28 EU leaders, had now been extended into the evening.

“The Turks are offering more, they are demanding more,” a senior European said “It’s more ambitious on all aspects”.

The source added: “Davutoğlu has presented some new ideas and new proposals at lunch. The EU 28 will gather at a working session to discuss the new ideas — that will take some time.

“Then we have foreseen a dinner with the participation of Davutoğlu.”

Martin Schulz said, Turkey has asked for an additional $3.3bn from the European Union to help it check the flow of refugees across the Aegean Sea, according to reports.

The country is due to receive $3.3bn until the end of 2018 to cover the costs of dealing with the refugees, but it has reportedly asked for double the amount.

Schulz, head of the European Parliament, said the request came at a summit in Brussels on Monday between Ahmet Davutoglu, Turkish prime minister, and EU leaders.

Under a draft proposal, Turkey and the EU could cooperate to end the flow of irregular refugees to Greek islands and start resettling Syrian refugees directly from Turkey to the EU.