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Bulgaria FM: EU-Turkey Readmission Deal to Help Us Cope with Refugees

Politics » BULGARIA IN EU | December 16, 2013, Monday // 09:22| Views: 1652 | Comments: 0
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Bulgaria: Bulgaria FM: EU-Turkey Readmission Deal to Help Us Cope with Refugees A refugee camp in the district of Vrazhdebna, in the Bulgarian capital Sofia. Photo by Sofia Photo Agency

Bulgaria’s Foreign Minister has expressed his satisfaction with the Readmission Agreement that was signed between EU and Turkey on December 16.

“The agreement is important for us, as it will give us new opportunities to deal with the influx of refugees,” Kristian Vigenin told the state-owned radio BNR on Monday.

Vigenin stated that Bulgaria has worked actively towards negotiating the agreement.

He noted that the deal will not apply to illegal immigrants that have already entered his country through its border with Turkey.

The decision for the signing of the Readmission Agreement between Turkey and the EU was announced in Brussels on December 4 after Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu held meetings with Cecilia Malstom and Stefan Fule, European commissioners for home affairs and enlargement, respectively.

As a result of long negotiations, Turkey has agreed to accept migrants who illegally entered into EU territories via Turkey but has the right to suspend it in the case of EU’s non-compliance with the visa liberalization process.

Turkey and the EU agreed on the road map for visa liberalization for Turkish citizens in return for the signing of the Readmission Agreement in 2011 but negotiations could not commence for two years due to deep mistrust between the two parties.

Bulgaria is the gateway to the European Union for refugees fleeing Syria via Turkey, many crossing the border illegally. However, along with asylum seekers from Syria, a large number of people from North Africa and the Middle East have also arrived illegally through the southern border with Turkey.

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Tags: Bulgaria, turkey, readmission agreement, Kristian Vigenin, illegal immigrants, visa, EU
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