26 January 2020

Germany to fulfil its promises on migration deal

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Germany supports the Turkey-EU migration deal and would fulfil its commitments, country's foreign minister said Monday.

Speaking in a joint press conference in Berlin with his Greek counterpart Nikos Dendias, Heiko Maas said migration was one of the the bloc's urgent issues.

Underlining that many still travel over sea to Greece from Turkey, Maas said: "We back the EU-Turkey deal and we will realize our commitments."

For his part, Dendias urged countries affected by migration to display solidarity and implement the EU-Turkey deal.

"There is an expectation for the migration waves to increase to concerning levels," Dendias stressed.

The 2016 deal aimed to discourage irregular migration through the Aegean Sea by imposing stricter measures against human traffickers and improving conditions for the 3 million -- now 3.6 million -- Syrian refugees in Turkey.

Turkey has complained that the EU failed to uphold its side of the deal, including its failure to provide millions of euros in pledged aid for Syrian refugees.

Last week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned that Turkey could "open its doors" to let Syrian refugees cross into Europe if Ankara did not get the support it expected.

The EU had pledged €6 billion ($6.6 billion) aid to improve living conditions of Syrian refugees in Turkey, but only €2.22 billion ($2.45 billion) were disbursed as of this June, according to Turkey.

Turkey currently hosts more than 3.6 million registered Syrian refugees according to the UN figures.

2019.09.16 / 19:51
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