Monday, March 21, 2016

Turkish, Greek officials meet on migrant swap

A total of 25 Turkish officials have reached their assigned posts on the Greek islands to work together with Greek officials to coordinate the registration of illegal migrants arriving via Turkey, which has agreed to take them back as part of a Turkey-EU deal.

Eight Turkish officials have gone to Lesbos, six to Chios, five to Samos, while three officials each have gone to Kos and Leros, according to the state-run Anadolu Agency.

According to the deal reached on March 18 in Brussels between the EU and Ankara, Turkey will take back migrants making the illegal crossing of the Aegean Sea to Greece as of March 20.
  • The returns will begin to take place on April 4 at the earliest.
For every Syrian sent back, the European Union will resettle one Syrian from Turkish refugee camps where 2.7 million people are residing.

  • In response to Turkish officials assuming duties on Greek islands, Greek officials will also be allowed to work on the migrant question in admission offices on the Turkish coasts.

Some 4,000 officials are needed to conduct the registration processes, the EU has said.

The officials consist of asylum experts, interpreters and security officials. Some 2,300 of the personnel will be provided by EU member countries, but they have yet to reach Greece.

Meanwhile, a total of 1,662 migrants have landed on Greek islands near Turkey since the landmark EU-Turkish deal on curbing the influx took effect on March 20, a Greek coordination panel said March 21...

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