Europe close to its 'limits' on accepting refugees, EU president warns

Time could be running out for waves of refugees to enter Europe, the president of the European Union warned on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit on Sunday.

"The practical capability of Europe to host new waves of refugees, not to mention irregular economic migrants, is close to limits," Donald Tusk said at a news conference. He urged the rest of the world to share the burden of refugees escaping war and famine in the Middle East and Africa, AFP reported.

"Only global efforts supporting refugees and their host communities will be able to bear fruit. That is why we want to encourage our partners to increase humanitarian and development aid, as well as refugee resettlement. We need to address the root causes that force millions of people to leave their homes and seek shelter elsewhere," Tusk added.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she saw the possibility of a "positive outcome" to negotiations between Turkey and the European Union on a visa waiver for Turks, but that it would still take weeks of work.

The offer to scrap visas for Turks entering the EU was one incentive for Turkey to agree to a deal to curb the flow of migrants across the Aegean Sea. But it's conditional on, among other things, Turkey modifying its definition of terrorism and what constitutes a terror act to ensure that journalists and academics aren't arrested. Ankara has refused to make changes.

Merkel said after meeting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Sunday at the G-20 summit that they didn't discuss a precise time frame but "we agreed that there is still work to do."

"We should build an open world economy," Chinese President Xi Jinping said before an audience that included President Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister Theresa May and leaders from Japan, South Korea, India and other governments.

"Group of 20 countries should abide by their commitment to avoid taking new protectionist measures, strengthen investment policy cooperation and take effective action to promote trade growth," Xi said.

China hopes to use its status as this year's G-20 leader to increase its influence in global economic management. Chinese officials say they want the G-20, created to coordinate the response to the 2008 financial crisis, to take on a longer-term regulatory role.

The World Trade Organization is forecasting this year's global trade growth at an anemic 2.8 percent -- its fifth straight year below 3 percent.

Leaders at the meeting have said they will call for "inclusive growth" -- a reference to efforts to defuse pressure to protect local industries by spreading the benefits of closer global integration to millions of people who have been left behind by wrenching changes.

Obama stressed that theme at a separate news conference with May.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.