Migrant deal on the brink

Turkish and European leaders stand their ground in impasse over migrants deal.

TURKEY (REUTERS) - It was in late April that German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited a refugee camp in Turkey.

It was a goodwill gesture ,with Brussels striking a deal with Ankara to help stem the migrant crisis in return for allowing easier passage for Turks headed to Europe.

What a difference a month makes. The Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who was with Merkel, is now stepping aside. And Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan is getting fed up. He is accusing the EU of changing the rules on the deal.

He says they are setting new hurdles for visa-free travel. He says Ankara may go its own way if they fail to agree.

"In the coming period, either we will improve our relations with the EU and finalise this deal, or we will draw a new path," said Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan in Turkish.

Brussels wants Turkey to make changes including adjusting its anti-terror laws.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is drawing a line.

He said, "We place great value on the conditions being met. Otherwise this deal - and it's called a deal, which I don't think is a good expression for an agreement between the EU and Turkey - just won't happen."

The stand-off has cast doubts on the future of the agreement with a migrant crisis still on the brink.