EC Urges Turkey to Return to Compliance with the Migration Agreement
The European Commission has today called on Turkey to return to compliance with the bilateral migration agreement. Commission spokesmen declined to give a clear answer on whether Ankara violated Art. 3 of the agreement, which stipulates that Turkey will take all necessary steps to prevent the emergence of new roads to the EU by land and water for migrants.
The EU is in constant contact with the Turkish authorities, including at the highest level. "We are raising the issue of an increasing number of people at the border (with Greece) and the need to maintain the agreement, a spokesman for the commission said. He added that efforts have so far been aimed at dialogue with the Turkish authorities in order to continue full implementation of the agreement.
The spokesman said that € 3.2 billion of the planned six billion euros in aid to refugees sheltered from Turkey so far has been paid out of a total agreed allocation of 4.7 billion euros. He explained that the payments were made after checking the activities carried out on the spot. The spokesman again noted that these amounts were not intended for Turkish authorities but for those fleeing the battlefield.
In response to the movement of migrants and the additional danger of the spread of the COVID-19 virus, an EC spokesman said border guards should keep that in mind. One of the conditions for entry into the Schengen area is that the passenger does not pose a threat to public security, the spokesman added.
The EU’s border protection agency, Frontex, said it was on high alert and had deployed extra support to Greece, as the country’s prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, held a meeting of his national security council.
“We … have raised the alert level for all borders with Turkey to high,” a Frontex spokeswoman said. “We have received a request from Greece for additional support. We have already taken steps to redeploy to Greece technical equipment and additional officers.”, The Guardia reported.
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