Refugee crisisEU, Turkey strike deal on Syrian refugees

Published 18 March 2016

The EU and Turkey have reached an agreement which stipulates that as of Sunday, all refugees and migrants arriving in Europe will be turned back and sent across the Aegean Sea to Turkey. The agreement also contains a controversial clause called the one-for-one formula: for every Syrian refugee the EU sends back across the Aegean to Turkey, a Syrian in Turkey will be given a new home in Europe.

Syrian refugees in Turkey // Source: wikipedia.org

The EU and Turkey have reached an agreement which stipulates that as of Sunday, all refugees and migrants arriving in Europe will be turned back and sent across the Aegean Sea to Turkey.

The European council president Donald Tusk and Turkish prime minister Ahmet Davutoğlu reached the agreement during talks earlier today (Friday). “The Turkey agreement has been approved,” Finland’s prime minister, Juha Sipilä, said on Twitter.

CNN reports that the agreement means that all refugees and migrants arriving in Greece from Sunday will be returned to Turkey.

The deal was reached without even though the EU refused to accept Turkey’s main condition: that talks over Turkey’s EU membership would be resumed in five areas.

The EU did agree, however, to language which stated that in return for taking back refugees, Turkey can expect “re-energized” talks on its EU membership, with the promise of negotiations on one policy area to be opened before July. The EU has also agreed to speed up the disbursement of €3 billion intended to help Syrian refugees in Turkey, with new projects to be agreed this week.

In the face of concerns expressed by human rights organizations, Turkey has pledged that all returned refugees will be treated in line with international law, including firm guarantees that they will not be forced to return to the countries from which they have fled.

The agreement also contains a controversial clause called the one-for-one formula: for every Syrian refugee the EU sends back across the Aegean to Turkey, a Syrian in Turkey will be given a new home in Europe.

The number of Syrians who can be resettled in Europe from Turkey has been capped at 72,000, short of the 108,000 a year recommended by international aid agencies.

 

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