EU draft wants more migrant facilities in Greece and Italy

'Deport those lacking right to asylum'; too many from Turkey

09 February, 20:23

    Armed conflict in Syria Armed conflict in Syria

    (ANSAmed) - BRUSSELS - A draft statement for the February 18-19 summit that ANSA has seen says that though improvements have been made through the setting up of 'hotspots' in Italy and Greece as concerns migrant identification, registration and fingerprinting, much remains to be done.

    It cites the facilities for migrants waiting for their cases to be assessed as one of the major areas to be improved upon. The statement notes that all parts of the Schengen zone must fully apply the rules concerning borders and refuse entry to citizens of third countries that do not meet entrance requirements or that have not asked for asylum despite having had the possibility to do so. It adds that Turkey has made significant progress towards implementing the 3-billion-euro action plan agreed with the EU, through granting refugees access to the labor market and data sharing with the EU. The statement stresses, however, that too many refugees are arriving in Greece from Turkey and that thus additional efforts are required.

    The "worst-case scenario in the short term in the region would be a new inflow of 600,000 refugees at the Turkish border" fleeing Aleppo, where over the past 10 days the regime of Bashar al Assad has launched an offensive with the support of Russian air raids, Turkish deputy premier, Numan Kurtulmus, has said. "As a consequence, we are seeing 200,000 people forced to flee, 65,000 towards Turkey and 135,000 inside Syria", he added.

    In the meantime, the UN refugee agency UNHCR has asked Turkey to open its border with Syria to allow the passage of a new inflow of refugees - at the moment 30,000 who have fled from Aleppo - calling on the international community to share the weight of the emergency with Ankara. Turkey, said UNHCR spokesman William Spindler, has allowed in several vulnerable and wounded people. However, many are not allowed to cross the border, he noted asking Turkey to open its borders to all civilians in Syria who are fleeing from danger areas and need international protection. Spindler added he understands concern for the ''potential massive'' inflow, expressed by Ankara, which already hosts over 2.5 million Syrian refugees. (ANSAmed).

     

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