EU leaders approve Turkey migrant deal: Finnish PM


Brussels (AFP)

EU leaders on Friday approved a deal with Turkey to curb the migration crisis after premier Ahmet Davutoglu visited Brussels for talks, Finland's prime minister said.

"The Turkey deal was approved," Finnish premier Juha Sipila wrote on Twitter as the 28 European Union leaders met to discuss the deal.

An EU official separately confirmed the agreement which all 28 European Union national leaders will now discuss with Davutoglu before signing off on an accord meant to end Europe's worst migrant crisis since World War II.

"Tusk's proposal for the EU-Turkey agreement approved by EU leaders, in principle, as it is now up for final talks with the Turkish prime minister," said the official who asked not to be named.

The plan includes a hugely controversial plan for Turkey to take back all new migrants arriving in Greece which critics said could infringe international law on the treatment of asylum seekers.

EU officials stressed repeatedly that this would not be the case because each application would be treated individually, with full rights of appeal and proper oversight.

The Turkish delegation to the EU said earlier in a tweeted message: "Look forward 2 a deal before dinner."

Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said all migrants arriving in Greece from Turkey from Sunday will be sent back.

"Deal with Turkey approved. All illegal migrants who reach Greece from Turkey as of March 20 will be returned!" Sobotka wrote on Twitter.