October 23, 2016

EU far from satisfied with Turkish containment of migrants

The European Union has seen encouraging first results from Turkey in a joint plan to reduce the number of migrants arriving in Europe, but remains far from satisfied as the number of arrivals remains high, a top EU official said on Thursday.

The European Union is counting on Turkey to help reduce the number of migrants entering the bloc following a deal between Brussels and Ankara late last year for Turkey to absorb more people fleeing Syria’s civil war.

“The only benchmark of course are the figures going down. We’re all committed, that’s part of the joint action plan, to bring the figures down and it’s quite clear over the last couple of weeks, the figures have remained relatively high, so there is still a lot of work to do there,” European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans told a news conference.

“Our cooperation with Turkish authorities is positive. We will continue discussing ways to improve the effectiveness of their operations. We have seen the first results which are encouraging but we are a long way from being satisfied,” he said.

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