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Turkey, EU Refugee Plan in the Works

Nov. 13, 2015 (EIRNS)—There is talk of an agreement being in the works between the European Union and Turkey over the refugee issues, which, as expected, is wholly inadequate to the task. The Guardian reports that during an EU emergency refugee summit on Malta, on the sidelines of the EU-Africa summit, it was decided to offer Turkey €3 billion in return for systematizing the refugee flows into Europe, which would involve registering refugees in Turkey, with Europe agreeing to taking a certain number each year. Turkey is supposed to accept non-Syrian refugees who left Turkey for Europe, but do not qualify for refugee status. The money would support the refugees in Turkey. There would be a summit later this month or in December with Turkey to finalize the agreement.

The Turkish daily Hurriyet also reports that there were negotiations between European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans and Turkish senior officials on Nov. 11 in Ankara, where an agreement on refugees was drafted, that parallels the Guardian report. The draft also calls for revitalization of talks for Turkey to join the EU by opening more chapters and providing visa-free travel to Turkish citizens to the Schengen zone. In return, Turkey will start to implement a readmission agreement for migrants. The agreement has to be ratified by the leaders of the governments. Timmermans will present the agreement to the EU Council in December where unanimous approval will be sought.

Meanwhile European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker will hold discussions with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the sidelines of the Nov. 15-16 G20 summit in Antalya, Turkey.

It is interesting that while Turkey is being offered €3 billion, EU member Greece, where some 600,000 refugees arrived since January of this year, has received a paltry €8 million.

Meanwhile the EU-Africa summit on Nov. 10 was also dominated by the refugee question, with the Europeans demanding that the African countries take back so-called economic refugees in return for a miserly €2 billion. The African leaders were said to have been enraged by the EU’s attitude.