03/19/2016, 11.46
TURKEY
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Agreement reached on migrants: Ankara to take in refugees rejected by the Union

In return, Turkey will get three billion euro and a new round of negotiations for entry into Europe. For each migrant rejected by Greece, a pass for a Syrian refugee from Turkish to European territory. Davutoglu criticizes Kurds' protest in Brussels: "They are terrorists". Tusk responds: "Freedom of speech is the foundation of our continent".

Brussels (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The European Union and Turkey have reached an agreement on the direct flow of migrants to Europe. Greece will decide on individual visas, while the repatriations - from next March 20 - will all be directed to Turkey. In return, Brussels has allocated three billion euro to support Ankara's costs. In addition, from July dialogue for Turkey's EU membership "will resume with new vigor".

Ankara accepts the principle that all migrants (whether refugees or economic migrants) who arrive in Greece will return to Turkey. For every migrant who is turned back, the Turkish government will send a Syrian immigrant to the EU. The aim of the deal is to discourage migrants from crossing the Aegean.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said: "All these events show that the EU-Turkey relations and Turkey's accession to the EU are important not only for relations between the EU and Turkey but for all international issues." After signing with the EU leaders Tusk, Juncker and Rutte he added: "Today is a historic day. The EU and Turkey have the same fate, the same visions and the same characteristics. There is no future for Turkey without the EU and there is no future for the EU without Turkey ".

The Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has stressed that the agreement complies with the theme of human rights: "The agreement reached at the EU Council respects the limits that we, and not just us, has laced: there is an explicit reference to human rights, freedom of the press and those founding values ​​of Europe

Instead Davutoglu and the President of the EU Council Donald Tusk clashed on this very issue. "I was deeply disappointed when I saw that the same terrorist organization that struck in Ankara [the reference is to the Kurds ed] demonstrating here in Brussels. There must be respect for our grief, this is what Erdogan’s words on Europe referred to ".

Tusk roundly defended Belgium referring to "exaggerated words" and added: "Freedom of speech is Europe’s trademark".

According to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, only Hungary and Slovakia will not accede to the plan for the relocation of refugees stranded in Greece. Meanwhile, in a sea and land operation the Turkish authorities stopped 1,734 irregular migrants who wanted to reach the Greek island of Lesbos.

In a press release Turkish security forces say they also arrested 16 suspected smugglers in the maxi-blitz. The operation was carried out by the Coast Guard in Turkish territorial waters in the Aegean near the town of Dikili, in the province of Izmir, a favored crossing point for migrants en route to Lesbos.

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