Merkel says she is 'not worried' about EU-Turkey migrant deal
BERLIN - Agence France-PresseGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel on May 25 brushed off concerns about a landmark EU-Turkey deal designed to stem the flow of migrants to Europe after critical comments by her Turkish counterpart.
"I am not worried," Merkel told reporters. "Maybe some issues will require more time, but in principle we, for our part, will stick to the agreement."
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on May 24 warned the European Union that the Turkish parliament would block laws related to the deal if Ankara was not granted its key demand of visa-free travel.
The stark warning came amid spiralling tensions between the Turkish leader and the EU over a string of issues.
There have been growing indications Turks will not be given the visa-free travel by the target of the end of June, and Merkel warned after talks with Erdoğan on May 23 that the target was unlikely to be met.
EU leaders are insisting that Turkey abide by 72 conditions before the visa exemption takes place, with a demand to change counter-terrorism laws proving particularly contentious.