Turkey to Accept Irregular Migrants, EU to Accept Same Number of Refugees

© REUTERS / Gleb GaranichTurkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu gestures as he attends a news conference after a meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart Arseny Yatseniuk in Kiev, Ukraine February 15, 2016.
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu gestures as he attends a news conference after a meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart Arseny Yatseniuk in Kiev, Ukraine February 15, 2016. - Sputnik International
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Turkey will accept all undocumented migrants who crossed the seas to the European Union while the bloc will accept the same number of approved Syrian refugees, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Friday.

BRUSSELS (Sputnik) – A number of high-level officials confirmed sealing the provisional deal envisioning a one-for-one exchange of migrants to help Europe tackle the greatest refugee crisis it has experienced since World War II.

"We agreed that in order to discourage human smugglers and in order to encourage legal migration, we have a balanced approach: Turkey will be getting all those who are crossing to the Aegean islands illegally. Meanwhile, Europe will receive the same number of legal migrants from Turkey," Davutoglu said in a joint press conference alongside EU Council and Commission leaders.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu poses with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker (L) and European Council President Donald Tusk (R) during a European Union leaders summit on migration in Brussels, Belgium, March 18, 2016. - Sputnik International
Concerns Remain Over EU-Turkey Deal on Refugees Amid Acrimony
Earlier in the day, EU leaders reached an agreement on the EU-Turkey action plan that envisions a one-for-one exchange of undocumented migrants for approved refugees.

Under the EU-Turkey deal, agreed in principal earlier in March, the European Union is expected to accelerate Turkey's EU accession process and introduce a visa-free regime between Turkey and Europe, as well as granting a total of 3 billion euros (over $3.3 billion) to Turkey to help it provide for refugees on its soil. Ankara has requested an additional 3 billion euros in funding through 2018.

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