The Latest: EU to monitor Turkish commitments on refugees

The Latest: EU to monitor Turkish commitments on refugees

BRUSSELS (AP) — The latest on the mass movement of asylum-seekers & others seeking refuge in Europe. All times local:

7:25 p.m.

French President Francois Hollande says the European Union will need to monitor Turkey's commitments "step-by-step" to assist end Syria's political crisis, fight terrorism & deal with a refugee influx that has spilled over into the 28-member bloc.

p>The French leader said Sunday that any funds of a 3 billion euros ($3.2 billion) EU package to assist Turkey deal with the migrants on its territory will be released progressively as Turkish commitments are checked.

Hollande moreover said verification measures need to be in place to check those coming through Turkey, because some "terrorists" have infiltrated the refugee flow.

Hollande cut out early from an EU-Turkey summit to head home Sunday for a meeting with China's president ahead of the Paris climate conference starting a day later.

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British Prime Minister David Cameron looks on during an EU-Turkey summit at the EU Council building  …

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5:25 p.m.

Britain's Prime Minster David Cameron says the EU summit with Turkey in Brussels matters because the migrant crisis in Europe will not be solved without Ankara & that "a comprehensive solution" is needed.

Cameron said much of the discussions at the summit Sunday would focus on Europe's no-borders zone & that Britain would continue to keep its "vital" border controls.

He said: "Britain will continue to play our role, which is approximately supporting Syrian refugees in the refugee camps & in Turkey."

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European Council President Donald Tusk, second right, arrives for an EU-Turkey summit at the EU Coun …

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3.50 p.m.

Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu says the country's summit with European Union leaders marks a new beginning in relations between the two parties.

Davutoglu says the summit Sunday would make for a sea alter in relations, even if EU leaders are specifically looking for more assist from Ankara to deal with the refugee crisis.

"Together, we will be sharing the destiny of our continent," he said on his arrival.

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Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel speaks with the media as he arrives for an EU-Turkey summit at …

"I am thankful to all European leaders for this new beginning, which is not just a beginning of a meeting yet the beginning of a new process, which is very significant for the future of our usual bond in Europe," he said.

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3:30 p.m.

Belgium's prime minister says Turkey cannot receive a "blank check" from the EU to assist it handle roughly 2 million Syrian refugees in the country.

Charles Michel spoke to reporters Sunday ahead of a European Union summit with Turkey focusing on hundreds of thousands of Syrian, Afghan, Iraqi & other migrants streaming into the bloc.

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European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker arrives for an EU-Turkey summit at the EU Council  …

Europe's leaders were expected to offer Turkey 3 billion euros ($3.2 billion), easing of visa restrictions & fast-tracking of its EU membership process.

Michel says he isn't ready to free up Belgian money & encouraged Ankara to donate Syrians greater access to Turkey's labor market.

Turkey has long sought to join the bloc. Michel said Turkey is "far away from membership" & "there is much progress that needs to be done"

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2:50 p.m.

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Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, third right, speaks with the media as he arrives for an EU-Turk …

EU President Donald Tusk is warning that any deal with Turkey at a summit in Brussels will not solve the migrant issue overnight.

Walking into the EU-Turkey meeting of government leaders Sunday, Tusk said that beyond getting a deal with Ankara, the most significant issue "is our responsibility & duty to protect our external borders. We cannot outsource this obligation to any third country."

At the emergency summit, EU leaders will look to offer Turkey 3 billion euros ($3.2 billion), an easing of visa restrictions & the fast-tracking of its EU membership process in return for tightening border security & taking back some migrants who don't qualify for asylum.

Tusk said that if the migrant crisis cannot be contained, the continent's vaunted Schengen system of borderless travel could collapse. "I will repeat this again: without control on our external borders, Schengen will become history," he said.

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This story has been corrected to show Cameron said Britain, not Turkey, would continue to keep its border controls.

Politics & GovernmentForeign PolicyEuropean UnionTurkeyEurope

Source: “Associated Press”

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