EU & Turkey leaders talk refugee crisis, freedom of press at Brussels summit Live updates

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (R) and Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu attend a bilateral meeting ahead of an EU-Turkey summit as the bloc is looking to Ankara to help it curb the influx of refugees and migrants flowing into Europe, in Brussels March 7, 2016. © Yves Herman
Leaders of the EU and Turkey have gathered in Brussels to work out ways of curbing the mass influx of refugees into Europe. The summit is being overshadowed by the Turkish government’s recent raid on a major newspaper.
  • 07 March 2016

    19:39 GMT

    The UN’s refugee chief, Filippo Grandi, criticized the action plan discussed during the EU-Turkey summit, saying he was “very concerned” with the solution debated by the European leaders and Turkey. He also called on EU countries to share Turkey’s burden by accepting Syrian refugees.

    “In the joint action plan, the most important thing is to help Turkey bear the burden, responsibility by taking people ... not in the thousands or tens of thousands but in the hundreds of thousands,” the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said during an event at the Geneva Graduate Institute.

  • 18:40 GMT

    The President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz called on the Turkish state to restart the peace process with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), in a statement to reporters in Brussels.

  • 18:38 GMT

    Turkey has requested additional € 3 billion ($3.31bn) to add to the original 3 billion the European Union had already promised to help it tackle the refugee crisis, Martin Schulz, the President of the European Parliament , said during a press briefing in Brussels.

  • 18:11 GMT

    NATO has sent ships into Greek and Turkish territorial waters to counter human traffickers smuggling refugees and migrants into Europe and overcome territorial sensitivities between Greece and Turkey, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told a news conference in Brussels.

    “NATO is starting activities in territorial waters today. We are expanding our cooperation with the EU’s border agency Frontex and we are expanding the number of ships in our deployment,” he said, adding that France and the UK had agreed to send their navy ships to aid the NATO mission in the Aegean.

  • 17:52 GMT

    "With these new proposals we aim to rescue refugees, discourage those who misuse and exploit their situation and find a new era in Turkey-EU relations," Davutoglu said at a NATO news conference in Brussels.

  • 16:45 GMT

    The UK prime minister, facing a battle to keep his country in the EU, says that none of what is being discussed will affect Britain, which has set its own refugee quotas, and remains outside the Schengen visa-free zone.

  • 16:40 GMT

    RT's Peter Oliver with the latest briefing from Brussels.

  • 16:39 GMT

    The traditional "family photo" with all the leaders. Jean-Claude Juncker on his best behavior today.

  • 15:36 GMT

    As predicted, the bargaining has begun, with EU putting forward a counter offer of an additional €3 billion for Turkey in the next three years, on top of the previously mentioned €3 billion. The figures are contained in a draft document, which was shown to Reuters.

  • 15:28 GMT

    More protocol shots from the summit.