European Union, Turkey migration deal finalised

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Brussels, March 19 (IANS) The European Union (EU) and Turkey managed to finalise their migration deal by the end of the two-day EU summit, with an aim to jointly tackle the migration crisis.

“We have finally reached an agreement between the EU and Turkey. An agreement aimed at stopping the flow of irregular migration via Turkey to Europe,” European Council President Donald Tusk told a press conference on Friday, Xinhua news agency reported.

The EU and Turkey agreed on the endeavour to end the irregular migration from Turkey to the EU, so as to break the business model of the smugglers and avoid putting the lives of migrants at risk.

Therefore, all new irregular migrants crossing from Turkey into the Greek islands as from March 20, 2016 are to be returned to Turkey, and this will take place in full accordance with EU and international law, according to a joint statement of the two parties.

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“It will be a temporary and extraordinary measure which is necessary to end the human suffering and restore public order,” emphasised the statement.

Moreover, the two parties agreed that for every Syrian being returned to Turkey from the Greek islands, another Syrian would be re-settled from Turkey to the EU.

“This is a very fair and encouraging step for refugees as well as those who are looking for their futures,” said Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu at the press conference.

Turkey vowed it would take all necessary measures to prevent new sea or land routes for illegal migration opening from Turkey to the EU, and would cooperate with neighbouring states as well as the EU to this effect.

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