Europe

Turkey's president: No refugee deal without EU visa waiver

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan talks during a joint news conference with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, at the the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, Tuesday, May 24, 2016. World leaders and representatives of humanitarian organisations from across the globe gathered in Istanbul on May 23-24, 2016 for the first World Humanitarian Summit, focused on how to reform a system many judge broken. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan talks during a joint news conference with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, at the the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, Tuesday, May 24, 2016. World leaders and representatives of humanitarian organisations from across the globe gathered in Istanbul on May 23-24, 2016 for the first World Humanitarian Summit, focused on how to reform a system many judge broken. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)  (The Associated Press)

Turkey's president has warned that his country wouldn't move forward on implementing a refugee readmission agreement with the European Union unless visa requirements are lifted for Turkish citizens without further conditions.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday that: "If you're still imposing criteria on Turkey which provides important support to the European Union by preventing those living in camps and pre-fabricated homes who are waiting to go to Europe (from getting there), then I'm sorry."

Erdogan added that if further bilateral talks on the visa issue didn't yield results, "the readmission agreement" on refugees wouldn't be approved by Turkey.

The EU has offered Turkey a visa waiver as one of several incentives to get it to stop migrants leaving for Europe and readmitting those who reach Europe illegally from Turkey.