Saturday, 21 July 2018 04:26 GMT

EU: Deal with Turkey on migration yielding results

(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) BRUSSELS, Sept 6 (KUNA) -- The European Union's top migration official said Wednesday that the agreement between the EU and Turkey signed in March 2016 to stem the flow of refugees continues to work and deliver results.

"More than 8,800 Syrians have been resettled from Turkey under this scheme since April 2016. So far in fact, the European Union has resettled more than 22,500 people in need of protection, not just from Turkey but also from countries like Lebanon and Jordan. This is a significant increase in resettlements compared to previous years, and it shows the value and success of joint EU efforts," Dimitris Avramopoulos, EU Commissioner in charge of Migration and Home Affairs, told a news conference.

The EU-Turkey deal reduced irregular flows to Greece by 97 percent , he noted.

He said that migrant arrivals in Italy in August this year also dropped by 81 percent compared to the same month last year.

"And they dropped 66 percent just between July and August this very summer. This also reflects the positive work we have done along the Central Mediterranean Route with all partners involved, including first of all the authorities of Libya and Niger," he said.

Avramopouos said he recently wrote to all EU Member States to encourage them to continue and be even more ambitious on resettlement of refugees, and also to focus more on the countries along the Central Mediterranean Route, in particular: Egypt, Libya, Niger, Ethiopia and Sudan.

He also declared that the EU has made progress on returning illegal migrants adding that "since the beginning of this year, more than 8608 illegally staying third-country nationals have been returned." (end)


EU: Deal with Turkey on migration yielding results

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