Summit with Turkey didn't provide answers to concerns of humanitarian crisis: US
At a summit described as "charged with great tension", the bloc vowed to keep funds flowing for a refugee deal with Ankara, but disappointed Turkish demands for deeper trade ties or visa-free travel to Europe.
European Union leaders said talks with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Monday offered no answers to a long list of concerns including over Turkey's intervention in Syria and the jailing of journalists at home.
At a summit that host Bulgaria described as "charged with great tension", the bloc vowed to keep funds flowing for a refugee deal with Ankara, but disappointed Turkish demands for deeper trade ties or visa-free travel to Europe.
Despite criticism from European governments of what many views as Erdogan's growing authoritarianism, EU leaders left the door open to Turkey's stalled bid for membership to the bloc, but said only he could act to remove the obstacles to accession.
"I raised all our concerns, as you know it was a long list", European Council President Donald Tusk told reporters after the talks held in the Black Sea port city of Varna.
"If you are asking me if we achieved some solutions or compromises - my answer is: no," he added. "Our position is clear - only progress on these issues will allow us to improve EU-Turkey relations, including the accession process".
Erdogan, who has alarmed the West with a massive purge since a failed coup attempt in July 2016, remains an important ally in the US-led NATO alliance, the fight against Islamic militants and as a destination for many Syrians fleeing war.
Turkey shares borders with Iraq and Syria as well as influence with Russia in the Black Sea region, but the EU is still it's biggest foreign investor and trading partner.
EU leaders cited these geostrategic interest as common ground for greater cooperation with Turkey, despite differences.
"While our relationship is going through difficult times, in areas where we do cooperate, we cooperate well," Tusk told reporters.
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