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European Union Agrees Joint Position On Migrant Crisis In Turkey

Luxembourg’s prime minister says European Union leaders have agreed a joint position to put to Turkey in an attempt to reach a deal over the migrant crisis.

He said the common EU position would be put to Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu today.

Under initial proposals, the EU had suggested it would double financial aid to Turkey promised last year, make a fresh push on talks over Turkey’s eventual membership of the EU and offer visa-free travel to Europe’s Schengen states.

However, those proposals have since been watered down, lowering expectation on greater financial help and talks on EU membership and linking visa-free travel to 72 conditions to which Turkey must agree.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that Turkey had to meet international standards of protection for all migrants.

She said that the legal resettlement of Syrian refugees could start a few days after the first returns from Greece.

She added that the EU needed to start returning migrants from Greece to Turkey to avoid a pull factor creating a surge of migrants before the new system takes effect.

Lithuanian President has warned that the plan to return people to Turkey is on the edge of international law and difficult to implement.

Meanwhile, Tens of thousands are now stuck in Greece as their route north has been blocked.

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