March 13, 2020 / 2:26 PM / 25 days ago

Amid coronavirus, Turkey switches migration summit to teleconference

FILE PHOTO: Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan attends a joint news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin (not pictured) following their talks in Moscow, Russia March 5, 2020. Pavel Golovkin/Pool via REUTERS

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan will hold talks with French and German leaders about solving a migration crisis next week by teleconference, rather than hosting a summit as originally planned, a Turkish official said.

The decision comes as countries grapple with the spread of coronavirus. Erdogan has postponed his own foreign visits for an unspecified period of time, his spokesman said.

Erdogan said earlier this week he would convene a summit in Istanbul on March 17 on the migrant issue with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and possibly British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Erdogan has called for updating the 2016 migration deal between Ankara and the European Union and Turkey’s customs union with the bloc, and also to revive Turkey’s stalled EU accession process.

Reporting by Orhan Coskun; Writing by Dominic Evans; Editing by Jonathan Spicer

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