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    Migrants are reflected in a puddle at the northern Greek border station of Idomeni, Tuesday, March 8, 2016.

    Turkey Receives First 300 Migrants From Greece Under EU Deal – Official

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    Major Migrant Crisis in Europe (1819)

    Turkey has received some 300 undocumented migrants, who had reached Greece by passing through Turkish territory, as part of an agreement on migration between Ankara and Brussels, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, defense minister of the Netherlands, which is currently presiding over the European Council, said Wednesday.

    BRUSSELS (Sputnik) — On Monday, Turkey and the European Union reached an agreement to put an end to the so-called Balkan route, used by migrants to travel through Greece and Macedonia to wealthier EU states. Under the deal, Turkey pledges to take back all illegal migrants that arrive to the European Union through its border and in their place send legal Syrian refugees to the bloc on one-for-one basis.

    "The EU and Turkey have agreed to accelerate the implementation of these commitments, which has already begun with the transfer of more than 300 undocumented migrants from Greece to Turkey," Hennis-Plasschaert said, speaking at the European Parliament on behalf of the EU Council.

    Europe has been beset by a massive refugee crisis, with hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing conflict-torn countries in the Middle East and North Africa. The EU border agency Frontex detected over 1.83 million illegal border crossings in 2015.

    In November 2015, the European Union and Turkey approved a joint plan to counter excessive immigration to the bloc, under which EU member states will give some $3.3 billion to Ankara and fast track negotiations for its accession to the bloc. In turn, Turkey is to help protect EU borders from illegal crossings and to resettle refugees that have managed to get to Europe from Turkey.

    Major Migrant Crisis in Europe (1819)


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