Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Tuesday a new summit in Istanbul with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel next week, with possible attendance of Britain's premier, Boris Johnson.

"We will hold this meeting next Tuesday, following elections in France. If Boris Johnson can make it it will be a summit of four, and if not it will be of three leaders. We will discuss these issues with these leaders," he said, speaking to reporters upon his return from Brussels.

The Turkish president hinted at a new phase in relations with the EU, saying: "We have taken many steps and will continue doing so."

Erdogan said Turkey has started a new diplomatic initiative to ensure a cease-fire in Idlib. 

In line with this initiative, European Council President Charles Michel and Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov visited Turkey and then the Turkish committee went to Moscow to ensure the cease-fire will last, he added.

He said at Brussels they discussed the migrant issue and the situation in Idlib.

“We discussed the security threats Turkey faces with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, EU Council President Charles Michel and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. 

“We discussed NATO and the EU’s responsibilities. We invited NATO for an urgent meeting on Feb. 28 and laid down our demands.”

In the upcoming NATO meeting on March 11, the Turkish leader said, he expected a positive outcome. 

Refugee crisis

Erdogan stressed the need to reassess Turkey-EU relations saying EU leaders agree that Turkey has kept its side of the 2016 refugee deal -- aimed at stopping the flow of irregular migrants to Europe.

“We hope political, technical teams will work on these issues and until the EU Leaders Summit on March 26 we will have some concrete results. One of the main reasons why we have problems is the lack of dialogue."

He called Syria and the refugee crisis “a leadership test” for the EU.

Answering a question on establishing a safe zone in northern Syria, Erdogan said U.S. President Donald Trump had spoken to him on the issue many times, but had not taken any concrete steps so far.

 “In our conversation last week, he said: ‘I will no longer keep my soldiers there, I don’t want to spend too much there. I will withdraw my soldiers’.” 

He said all these issues with the EU will be discussed at a summit on March 26.

Erdogan slammed Greece over the killing of five asylum seekers on the Turkish-Greek border, calling their attitude murderous. 

He asked Greece to open the border for asylum seekers, saying they will not permanently stay in the country.

“Let them go to different countries of Europe. We call for a fair share of burden, but you leave Turkey alone to carry all the burden.”

Speaking about coronavirus, he said it is a global outbreak but no cases have yet been confirmed in Turkey.

“We started taking precautions since the beginning of the outbreak. And that we still don't have the illness in our country shows that our precautions are spot-on.”

He added that health institutions in the country are prepared to deal with an outbreak, if it comes to the country.