Turkey and EU agree on settling migration crisis
The European Union and Turkey have agreed on a joint action plan to address the migration crisis, according to which all illegal immigrants arriving in Greece from March 20th will be returned to Turkey. For every illegal immigrant who returns to Turkey, the EU plans to resettle a refugee who needs international protection from the country. In addition, the EU promised Ankara three billion euros and a visa-free regime.
From March 20th the authorities of Turkey should send their representatives whose responsibilities include readmission of migrants to the Greek islands. At the same time, Turkey promises to do everything possible to prevent the appearance of new routes of illegal migration to the EU.
"Turkey will take all necessary measures to prevent the opening of new sea or land routes of illegal migration from Turkey to the EU, and will cooperate with the neighboring countries, as well as with the EU for this purpose," RIA Novosti cites the text of the EU-Turkey joint statement.
If the flow of illegal immigrants from Turkey to the EU will stop or significantly decline, 'a voluntary scheme of humanitarian reception' will start to operate: the EU countries, on a voluntary basis, will be able to take refugees who travelled to Turkey.
Refugees who are returned to Turkey under the agreement on readmission with the EU will be placed in new camps, which will be built for them, the Prime Minister of Turkey Ahmet Davutoglu said.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel assessed the agreement between the European Union and Turkey as a very important step towards a lasting solution of the migration crisis. "For me, this agreement became a sign that Europe can work together to fight such challenges. Now we will begin to implement it all into practice. And for me, it became a sign that we have taken a step forward, an important step on the path to find a long-term, not an illusory solution," the politician stressed.
British Prime Minister David Cameron stated that he is willing to help in the implementation of the action plan, however, he pointed out that the United Kingdom will not introduce a visa-free regime with Turkey and will not take a larger number of refugees.
"I welcome the agreement. For the first time since the crisis began we have a plan that, if fully implemented, could help in containing people from coming, and could stop the trade that the smuggling gangs carry out," he thinks.
However, Cameron reminded that his country will not provide Turkish citizens with a visa-free regime, "because the UK is not a Schengen country and is not obliged to carry out their decisions."
The acting Prime Minister of Spain, Mariano Rajoy, has informed that the EU and Turkey's plan corresponds to the principle of respect for human rights.
"We have come to a rational agreement that corresponds to the principle of respect for human rights. It is in the interests of people who are fleeing from wars," he pointed out.