Turkey and EU strike deal to limit migrants flow in Europe
Nov 30, Ankara: Turkey and European leaders have struck a deal in Brussels aiming to limit the flow of migrants into the continent.
Leaders from 28 EU member states met Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Sunday finalising an agreement that offered Ankara $3.2bn, along with closer ties with the EU, in return for handling the refugees from war-torn countries on its territory, Al Jazeera reported.
Talks on Turkey's accession to the European Union will also be revived. It was a historic day in Turkey's relations with the EU, PM Davutoglu said. Under the deal, Turkish citizens may be able to travel without visas in Europe's Schengen zone, which allows free movement between many
European countries, by October 2016, media reports said. However, the rules will be relaxed only if Turkey meets certain conditions. In December, the EU will open the next chapter of negotiations with Turkey in its accession talks with the EU, which have been dragging on since 2005, and prepare further chapters for discussion in the first three months of next year.
International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said that more than 720,000 migrants have arrived in Europe on Greek shores so far this year, with most arriving from Turkey.
Turkey is the major transit point for refugees trying to enter Europe, which are expected to reach 1.5 million people this year alone. Many are fleeing conflict in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, and lived in makeshift camps in Turkey before their journey.
The Oslo Times