European Union leaders to press Turkey, back Greece at migrant summit


“President of #EUCO will take forward the proposals and work out the details with the Turkish side before the March #EUCO”, read a tweet from Xavier Bettel, the Prime Minister of Luxembourg. It was not immediately clear what those principles are.

Leaders at the summit are pinning their hopes on a deal with Turkey to prevent more people attempting the hazardous journey to Europe.
The vast majority of the migrants have come via Turkey. The decision was taken as many migrants landing in Europe pass through Turkey.
Based on that agreement, Turkey will accept the return of refugees setting off from Turkey to the European Union countries in June 2016.
German chancellor Angela Merkel said: “A further three billion euros (£2.3 billion) will be needed at the request of Turkey”.
About 34,000 migrants are now stranded in Greece.
Davutoglu, who held his meeting with Stoltenberg while EU leaders were holding talks following Monday’s EU-Turkey summit, called for all parties to remember the humanitarian impact of the Syrian conflict.
“At the end of the day, our continent is our continent altogether”, he told reporters in Brussels.
Syrians, who top the influx of 1.13 million people into Europe over the past 14 months, are considered genuine refugees requiring admission under global law. People smugglers are rife along the route and thousands of migrants have been cast adrift into unsafe waters aboard flimsy boats that have capsized or sunk. We have rescued close to 100,000 from the sea.
“Russia’s political establishment has had no reservations about capitalizing on a potentially divisive issue such as refugees with a view to interfering in legitimate democratic processes outside of its own borders”.
A statement released after the meeting added: “The Heads of State or Government agreed that bold moves were needed to close down people smuggling routes, to break the business model of the smugglers, to protect our external borders and to end the migration crisis in Europe”.
(AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis). People sit outside their tents at the Athens’ port of Piraeus where over 2,000 stranded refugees and migrants stay at the passenger terminal buildings and their tents, on Monday, March 7, 2016.
Medical aid group Doctors Without Borders said 4,000-5,000 of those in Idomeni are children.
The U.N. refugee agency’s Baloch said crossings in Idomeni over the weekend had involved border officials enforcing restrictions based on nationality, such as refusing to let Syrians through.
“For the first time since the beginning of the migration crisis, I can see a European consensus emerging”, Tusk said in his letter. But the reality is that there have been more barriers built than removed in the past six months.
He said: “We are not sending them, they are going [to Greece] by sea and many are dying”. While thousands arrive in Greece’s main port of Pira…
On Sunday, at least 25 people drowned off the Turkish coast while trying to reach Greece.
The leaders are expected to acknowledge that the main Balkan migrant route is effectively closed, after Macedonia – backed by Austria, Croatia, Slovenia and Hungary – limited border crossings to a trickle.
The draft raised concerns that agile smugglers would circumvent European Union barriers and take alternative routes, which those working on the migrant problem say could run through Bulgaria or Albania.
Following talks in Brussels, European Council President Donald Tusk said “the days of irregular migration to Europe are over”.