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EU-Turkey leaders summit to be held on Sunday in Brussels — Tusk

By AFP - Nov 23,2015 - Last updated at Nov 23,2015

BRUSSELS — The EU's 28 leaders will host Turkey for an extraordinary summit on Sunday to improve ties and help tackle the unrelenting migrant crisis, European Union President Donald Tusk said.

EU leaders are facing the biggest refugee crisis since World War II and are urgently seeking to secure the help of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in curbing the flow of migrants into the European Union from Turkey.

"I call [an] EU-Turkey summit on Sunday 29 November at 16h. Purpose: Re-energise our relations and stem migration flow," Tusk said in a tweet on Monday.

He said his decision came after a "positive recommendation" from the European Commission, the EU's executive arm, and a telephone call with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. 

A European source told AFP it was not yet clear whether Erdogan or Davutoglu would attend, adding this would be "for Turkey to decide".

More than 700,000 of the 850,000 migrants who have reached EU countries by sea this year have left from Turkey, which hosts some two million asylum seekers from neighbouring Syria and other nations in the region.

In return for its help, Turkey has demanded the EU provide three billion euros ($3.3 billion) a year in funding and visa-free travel for Turkish nationals. It also wants a resumption of negotiations on Turkey's long-stalled application to join the 28-nation bloc.

European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker said earlier this month the goal of the summit would be to "conclude" negotiations with Turkey on a migration cooperation accord.

EU leaders last month announced with great fanfare they had reached a refugee cooperation deal with Turkey, but Erdogan and other officials swiftly dampened expectations.


Erdogan urged Brussels to take Ankara's 10-year bid for EU membership more seriously while his foreign minister, Feridun Sinirlioglu, slammed the EU's proposed financial help as insufficient.

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