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EU to Grant Turkey $1.1 Bln This Summer on Refugee-Related Projects

© AFP 2022 / OZAN KOSE Migrants and refugees try to push a police barricade after they were blocked by Turkish riot police while walking towards Edirne on September 21, 2015 in Istanbul
Migrants and refugees try to push a police barricade after they were blocked by Turkish riot police while walking towards Edirne on September 21, 2015 in Istanbul - Sputnik International
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EU Council President Donald Tusk said that the European Union will allocate €1 billion ($1.1 billion) within the agreement aimed at stemming illegal migration this summer.

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ANKARA (Sputnik) – The European Union will allocate 1 billion ($1.1 billion) within the agreement aimed at stemming illegal migration this summer, EU Council President Donald Tusk said Saturday.

"Today Turkey is the best example in the entire world of how to treat refugees. I am proud that we are partners. There is no other way," Tusk stated, announcing the decision that would hopefully improve the lives of Syrian migrants in the country.

Tusk said at a joint press conference together with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and European Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans.

Earlier in the day, Tusk and other EU officials and politicians visited a refugee camp in Nizip, as well as participated in the inauguration of a child protection center in the Gaziantep province on the occasion of the National Sovereignty and Children's Day in Turkey.

In March, Europe and Turkey agreed on a deal under which Ankara pledged to take back all undocumented migrants who arrive to the European Union through its territory in exchange for Syrian refugees accommodated in Turkey, on a one-for-one basis.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and German Chancellor Angela Merkel pose for a picture with refugees in Nizip refugee camp near Gaziantep, Turkey, April 23, 2016 - Sputnik International
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In return, the European Union pledged to provide a total of 3 billion (over $3.3 billion) to Turkey to help it deal with refugees, with a possible further 3 billion-euro provision in 2018. The 28-member bloc also agreed to accelerate the Turkish EU accession bid and introduce a visa-free regime between Turkey and Europe.

"The way I see it, Turkey has made good progress ahead of decisions to be taken this summer, provided that Turkey meets all the agreed benchmarks," Tusk said.

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