The Turkey-EU last month’s arrangement on tackling the migrant flow has initiated to harvest results, a said a top EU official.
“We ‘ve seen a sharp reduction of illegal migration flows,” said Donald Tusk, the European Council President.
In Turkey, he commended the Govt. as “best example in the world on how to treat refugees,” regardless of the criticism by the rights groups of agreement.
Ahmed Davutoglu, the Turkish PM repeated that the European Union should now implement the visa-free travel for the Turks as part of deal.
Mr. Davutoglu also claimed that his country had satisfied its part of agreement & that the problem of visa waiver for entering EU’s Schengen area was “vital” for Turkey.
On Saturday, Angela Merket, the German Chancellor and Mr. Tusk had visited a migrant camp on Syrian-Turkish border.
The goal of deal was to hinder the migrants, mainly Iraqis & Syrians, from making the illegal crossings between Greece (EU member) & Turkey.
The United Nations refugee agency & the other rights organizations voiced apprehensions about the deal.
Mr. Tusk, at the joint news conference in southern city of Gaziantep said: “Our return operations are working in tandem with resettlements of Syrian nationals from Turkey to EU member states, demonstrating desired shift from illegal to legal migration.”
“No-one has a right to lecture Turkey on what it’d be doing,” he added.
Mr. Davutoglu said that the reduction in the number is the evidence that the mechanism, which we’ve set up works
“Not a single Syrian refugee has been returned from Turkey unless it’s of their free will,” said the Turkish PM
In the meantime, Ms. Merkel had called for establishment of the special security areas on Syrian side of the border, where the refugees could find their shelter.
“More secure people can feel the less likely it’s that they will have to leave their homeland. So this’s why we attach great importance to that,”
Turkey already welcomed around 2.7 million Syrian refugees, at a cost of more than $10bn, said the govt. says.