Brussels: European Union president Donald Tusk will visit Turkey this week for fresh talks on migration ahead of a crucial Brussels summit on the crisis, his office said Tuesday.
In a fevered new round of diplomacy after visiting the Balkans earlier this week, Tusk will meet Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Thursday and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday, it said.
The trip will lay the ground for a summit on March 7 in Brussels where Davutoglu and the leaders of the 28 EU states will discuss the progress of last year`s EU-Turkey deal aimed at cutting the flow of migrants.
Failure to make progress at the summit will spell "disaster" for the bloc, EU migration commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said last week, with its passport-free Schengen zone at risk.
Under November`s deal Turkey agreed to tackle people smugglers and improve conditions for Syrian refugees in exchange for three billion euros ($3.2 billion) and a promise from Brussels to speed up Ankara`s EU membership bid.
But alarm is growing in EU capitals that thousands of migrants are still crossing the Aegean Sea to the Greek islands from Turkey after more than one million made the perilous journey last year.
Relations have been increasingly tense with Turkey, with Erdogan even threatening Tusk and European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker when they visited Turkey in November that he would flood Europe with refugees if he did not get more help.