EU to implement existing agreements on migration

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Brussels, Feb 19 (IANS) European Union (EU) leaders agreed early Friday to implement existing agreements on the ongoing migration crisis in Europe, especially cooperation with Turkey in handling the crisis.

“The full and speedy implementation of the EU-Turkey Action Plan remains a priority, in order to stem migration flows and to tackle traffickers and smugglers networks,” Xinhua quoted the leaders as saying.

The plan was signed in November 2014 between Turkey and the EU, in which Turkey agreed to protect EU borders from the flood of refugees in exchange for $3 billion and a new look at its EU membership bid.

European Council President Donald Tusk said in a joint press conference with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker that the EU was to organise a special meeting with Turkey in March.

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The EU leaders welcomed NATO’s support in monitoring illegal crossings on the Aegean sea and called on all NATO members to support this measure actively.

The meeting also called for unity of all EU institutions and member states.

“We must look for a synthesis of different approaches. There is no good alternative to a comprehensive European plan,” Tusk said.

A joint effort is needed to solve the migration crisis, Juncker said, adding “solo, national approach is not recommendable.”

Junker’s words were seen as directed at Austria, which drew fire from other EU states for deciding to cap the number of migrants it takes in.

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