Turkey needs to stem migrant flow by June 1 deadline, says EU envoy
AFP photoTurkey needs to stop or significantly reduce the number of illegal migrants crossing into Europe by June 1, when a readmission agreement between Ankara and Brussels goes into full effect, an EU envoy said on March 4.
Hansjörg Haber, the head of the EU delegation to Turkey, also told reporters at a news conference in Istanbul that an October deadline to ease restrictions on travel to Europe for Turks was “not automatic,” Reuters reported.
Turkey and the European Union will meet on March 7 in Brussels to focus on collaboration over the worst refugee crisis Europe has faced since World War II.
On the same day, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said Turkey had seen a significant decrease in the number of refugees arriving at its borders due to its changing visa regime.
“Turkey is fulfilling its mission within the frame of the immigration action plan,” Çavuşoğlu told reporters during a joint press conference with his Greek counterpart, Nikos Kotzias, in Athens in comments that were broadcast live in Turkey.
“We are reviewing our visa regime, and we observe a significant drop in the number of refugees,” he said.
One day after the meeting in Brussels, on March 8, an intergovernmental high level cooperation council, which will be co-chaired by Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and his Greek counterpart, Alexis Tsipras, will take part in the Aegean province of İzmir.