Bulgaria, Turkey PMs Urge Common European Approach to Migration Crisis
Bilateral agreements won’t lead to a comprehensive solution to the migration crisis in Europe, the prime ministers of Bulgaria and Turkey have agreed at a meeting in Istanbul on Friday.
The meeting between Boyko Borisov and Binali Yildirim focused on the impact of the worst migration crisis in Europe since WWII.
"We will do everything within our powers and capabilities to reduce the pressure on Bulgaria. Our respective institutions have already begun work on this issue; I hope that these efforts will bear fruit in the short term and thus ease the pressure on Bulgaria, " Yildirim said at a joint press conference with Borisov after the meeting, according to a news release of the government in Sofia.
Boyko Borisov hailed Turkey’s efforts to further alleviate migration pressure on Bulgaria. He added that Turkey has already taken back about 26,000 irregular migrants from Bulgaria even though an agreement for the readmission of refugees to Turkey from EU member states has yet to be finalised.
However, bilateral agreements won’t lead to a comprehensive solution to the migration crisis and it is high time for a common European approach and manifestation of real European solidarity not only with the most vulnerable Member States, but also with EU neighbours such as Turkey, the Bulgarian Prime Minister said at the news conference.
Borisov has repeatedly expresses his concern over a possible surge in migration pressure on Bulgaria at a time when many EU Member States in central and western Europe as well as non-EU countries such as Macedonia and Serbia tighten their border controls.
"If we only secure our border with Turkey, who will secure the borders with Greece and Macedonia? I hope that realism will prevail over nationalism and populism, " Borisov said.
Borisov also stressed that a solution to the migration crisis at the expense of Greece or Turkey wasn’t an option for him.
"I am convinced that Europe and Turkey together will provide much greater stability to the region" of southestern Europe, he said.
Binali Yildirim highlighted the global dimension of migration crisis and urged European leaders to realize that “the time has come to bear greater responsibility with regard to migrants," according to the press release.
It is extremely important that the EU-Turkey agreement on migration entered into force at the end of October, Yildirim added.
"If the agreements on readmission and visa liberalization does not enter into force, it will put Europe at huge risk," the Turkish Prime Minister said.
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