Turkey dismisses EU plan to resettle refugees in return for sealing sea route

European plans to take in hundreds of thousands of refugees on annual basis directly from Turkey, in return for Ankara closing the borders to further migration, have been dismissed as unworkable by a senior Turkish official, hampering the EU’s attempts to get to grips with the crisis.

The European commission, called for the deportation of asylum-seekers from Europe to Greece and Turkey, the two pivotal countries bearing the brunt of the influx from the Middle East. The commission proposal is unlikely to have much impact on the crisis because deportations to Greece are banned under court rulings while returns to Turkey would only affect those with little chance of obtaining asylum.

The Turkish response to the Dutch-led plan for direct resettlement and the likely minimal impact of the proposals from Brussels highlighted both the poverty and confusion of the EU policy responses to the crisis and its desperation in the quest for answers.

The Dutch, currently chairing the EU, are pushing a scheme for EU volunteer countries, including Germany, to take 250,000 refugees a year from Turkey, but only if Ankara succeeds in closing the Aegean sea routes across which hundreds of thousands are travelling to Greece.

“Forget it,” said Selim Yenel, Turkey’s ambassador to the EU. “It’s unacceptable. And it’s not feasible.”

-More at TheGuardian


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