09:47 GMT07 March 2021
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    Major Migrant Crisis in Europe (1819)

    The EU-Turkey migrant exchange plan has to be put into action as soon as possible, German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced after a European Council meeting in Brussels.

    BRUSSELS (Sputnik) – Late on Thursday night, EU leaders agreed on a joint proposal on migration to be presented to the Turkish prime minister on Friday morning.

    Davutoglu will attend a breakfast meeting on Friday, the second day of the EU leaders’ summit currently underway in Brussels.

    "We are not talking about weeks here, but this has to be done very quickly and what's absolutely indispensable is that once you have this return from the Greek islands to Turkey only a few days have to lapse until this resettlement process will be initiated, the Turkish Prime Minister [Ahmet Davutoglu] pressed this upon me," Merkel said.

    Earlier in this month, Ankara pledged to take back all undocumented migrants that had arrived to the European Union from Turkey and send in their place documented Syrian refugees on a one-for-one basis.

    "The offer that Turkey put on the table to end irregular migration through a re-admittance and return of the refugees from the Greek islands to Turkey…is a good instrument in order to end the traffickers’ business, but the necessary instruments have to be in place in order to make it possible," Merkel stressed, explaining that "each and every refugee has to be evaluated" and "every individual case has to be analyzed."

    In return for Turkey’s help in tackling the EU migrant crisis, the European Union pledged to accelerate Turkey's EU accession process and introduce a visa-free regime between Turkey and Europe, as well as to provide a total of 3 billion euros (over $3.3 billion) to Turkey for dealing with the refugees. Ankara has requested 3 billion euros more in funding until 2018."There is a general readiness to put additional funds of the table," Merkel said.

    Davutoglu told journalists in Ankara, before departing for Brussels, that Turkey was experiencing difficulties with regard to EU accepting its proposals.

    Major Migrant Crisis in Europe (1819)


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    refugee crisis, migrant crisis, migrants, Angela Merkel, Turkey
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