Turkey urges update on migrant accord with EU

2016 MoU 'doesn't work', 'places full burden on Turkey'

04 July, 17:20

    EU Commissioner for Migration Dimitris Avramopoulos (L) and Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu (R) in an archive photo EU Commissioner for Migration Dimitris Avramopoulos (L) and Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu (R) in an archive photo

    ISTANBUL - Turkey has said that it is necessary to update an agreement on migration signed in 2016 with the European Union, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said during a joint press conference with his Austrian counterpart Gerhard Karner on his visit to Ankara.

    The press conference was broadcast on state-run TRT.

    "We need to update the agreements on migration. The March 18 Memorandum of Understanding clearly does not work and it is clear that the burden of that agreement is entirely on the shoulders of Turkey," Soylu said, citing a 2016 agreement according to which the EU gives funds to Turkey for migrant management in exchange for efforts by Ankara to keep its borders closed to those trying to enter Europe illegally.

    "The updating of this agreement will be an inevitable reality in the upcoming period, since over the past five years the Republic of Turkey has prevented the entrance into the country of 2.7 million irregular migrants and we also captured 1.3 million irregular migrants inside our own territory. We are hosting 3.7 million Syrians and about 300,000 migrants of other ethnicities," the Turkish minister added.

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