EU, Turkey Strike Deal to Stem Flow of Refugees

Sabung Ayam On-line

The European Union and Turkey have reached an arrangement on how to stem the stream of refugees into the bloc, European Council President Donald Tusk said on Sunday, as he urged EU leaders to back the deal at today’s Brussels summit.

“Our major goal is to stem the movement of migrants into Europe,“ Mr. Tusk mentioned as he arrived at the meeting. ”After several weeks of difficult work…we have achieved an arrangement which I hope will be approved by all get-togethers involved.”

Mr. Tusk explained he hopes Sunday’s conference will “re-energize” usually strained ties between the EU and Turkey, which he referred to as a “key partner” of the bloc.

At the heart of the proposed migration deal is Turkey’s promises of tightening its border controls in trade for some €3 billion ($ 3.19 billion) in income and other rewards from the EU. Those prizes contain speeding up perform on Turkey’s EU membership bid and a new thrust to help Ankara get visa-free of charge access to the bloc for its citizens.

The EU has been pressing Turkey to enhance controls at its sea border with Greece, which has been the dominant entry stage for migrants and refugees into the bloc in modern months. Sunday’s summit, where most EU leaders will be existing, is predicted to activate a detailed joint-motion plan to stem the stream of migrants.

Nonetheless, underlining the ongoing deficiency of trust among Ankara and Brussels, much of the concentrate forward of Sunday’s summit has been on how to ensure the other facet will hold to their pledges. One particular resource of problem for the EU: the absence of Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at Sunday’s meeting.

EU officers expended the weekend trying to persuade Cyprus, which has lengthy blocked development on Turkey’s EU membership bid over Ankara’s refusal to recognize the Nicosia authorities, to indication up for the migration deal.

The talks between EU and Turkey started in September as the 28-country bloc struggled with the largest influx of migrants because the aftermath of World War II. Presently this year a lot more than seven hundred,000 migrants, primarily Syrian, arrived in the EU via Turkey in accordance to the Intercontinental Organization of Migration.

Underneath the deal which has been negotiated, Turkey would beef up its patrols in the Aegean Sea and on the land borders with Greece and Bulgaria to stop illegal migration into Europe. They would also dedicate to crack down on human-trafficking gangs and would agree to get back to Turkey migrants whose asylum claims are denied by EU nations around the world.

The first EU-Turkey summit in 11 many years arrives as Ankara faces diplomatic and stability challenges from Moscow pursuing the downing of a Russian warplane on Tuesday.

Even though a joint response to the refugee disaster is top of the agenda, the Turkish delegation led by Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu will also push European counterparts on broader geopolitical concerns led by the Syrian conflict, the battle against Islamic State, and Russia’s ever more assertive armed forces functions in assist of the Damascus regime just south of Turkey’s border.

Just before traveling to Brussels for the summit, Mr. Davutoglu said Russia and Iran ended up propping up embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad below the guise of preventing Islamic State, warning that indiscriminate bombing strategies were also hitting civilians and threatening to unleash another wave of refugees.

“This subject is of immediate interest to Turkey in the context of the refugee crisis, which is the main topic at the Turkey-EU summit,” Mr. Davutoglu stated.

The premier extra that he will also go over Russia’s recurring violations of the Turkish airspace with EU leaders, and the tensions brought on by Turkey’s downing of a Russian jet this week. “This carries fantastic relevance with regards to making a common stance in the Turkey- EU-Russia triangle,” he mentioned.

On Thursday, Turkey’s EU Affairs Minister Volkan Bozkir stated Ankara and Brussels would commence talks on a plan location masking financial and financial procedures as quickly as Dec. fourteen-15. Turkey and the EU have started out negotiations on 14 of the 35 plan requirements that Ankara must fulfill to sign up for the bloc, opening the latest chapter in November 2013 right after a a few-year lull. The two get-togethers are operating to open up conversations on 5 to 6 chapters subsequent year, Mr. Bozkir stated.

Although the refugee disaster has strengthened Ankara’s hand in negotiations, domestic developments in Turkey are complicating its efforts.

Two distinguished Turkish journalists ended up jailed Thursday in relationship with a controversial report on Turkey’s arms shipments to Syrian rebels, which the government experienced frequently denied.

Their arrests, pending trial, was the newest crackdown agains press liberty and will come on the heels of the government’s seizure of opposition media outlets in the direct up to early elections in November. The U.S. and EU have each sharply criticized the moves.

Publish to Laurence Norman at laurence.norman@wsj.com and Emre Peker at emre.peker@wsj.com


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