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Photograph: EPA/NAKE BATEV

The European Union is in the midst of negotiating a complex deal with Turkey aimed at ending migration flows across the Aegean Sea and into the bloc.

EU leaders must first agree on a common position among all 28 before sitting down on Friday with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to hammer out a deal.

Many of them have hesitations about the proposed plan, which centres on a legally challenging migrant swap deal with Turkey and closer ties between Ankara and the EU.

Here is what leaders had to say ahead of their summit:


"I am cautiously optimistic, but frankly speaking more cautious than optimistic [of reaching a deal]."


"The alternative [to a deal with Turkey] is quickly explained: Everyone travels wherever they want, without limit. If you want the alternative, then I say: No."


"We need to find a balance of interests between the EU member states and Turkey. ... I think it is within the realm of the possible - I am consciously careful - for us to find such a common position."


"If we can get an agreement that returned migrants from the Greek islands to Turkey, that would be good progress."


"It is crucial we get a deal. If we don't, the crisis continues and people continue to drown; Greece will fill up with refugees who cannot get through."


"We are here to seal the deal with Turkey. ... We do understand this is quite a Herculean task we have, but we need to make it work."


"I think that the proposed package is very complicated, will be very difficult to implement and it is on the edge of international law."


"You know I have fears concerning the legal aspect of it all. I have been given assurances but I am still not convinced. ... I do not want a judge to tell us in a few weeks' time that we were wrong from start to finish."


"I prefer no agreement at all rather than a bad agreement. ... Turkey is effectively demanding a lot. And I don't accept negotiations that sometimes resemble a form of blackmail."


"If Turkey will fulfill its obligations according to the Ankara Protocol and the [EU-Turkey] negotiating framework, then there is no problem. But without it, we could do nothing."

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