EU prioritizes refugee collaboration with Turkey

EU leaders say extraordinary refugee meeting to be held in March

EU prioritizes refugee collaboration with Turkey

World Bulletin / News Desk

Cooperating with Turkey to solve the worst refugee crisis facing the European Union since World War II is a priority for the bloc, according to its leaders.

"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," EU heads of government said in a statement following a meeting in Brussels on Thursday.

"The flows of migrants arriving in Greece from Turkey remain much too high," the EU leaders added. "We need to see a substantial and sustainable reduction of the number of illegal entries from Turkey into the EU."

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was scheduled to meet European Council President Donald Tusk, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and European Parliament President Martin Schulz on Thursday but had to cancel after a terrorist attack in Ankara on Wednesday.

Tusk said an extraordinary meeting with Turkey would be held in early March. Turkey is a transit country for thousands of refugees seeking to enter Europe.

Under a refugee action plan, the EU has promised to give €3 billion [$3.3 billion] to meet the needs of over two million refugees in Turkey. This would also see visa freedom for Turkish citizens and speeding up the EU candidate country’s accession talks in exchange for Turkey stemming the flow of refugees into Europe.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 19 Şubat 2016, 10:44