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Number of migrants trying to reach Greece from Turkey falls


05-01-2016 17:20 BJT

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu says the deal with the EU to stem migration flow is working. He says the number of migrants trying to reach Greece from Turkey fell sharply in April.

"After April 4th, this figure has regressed to two-digit numbers. As a matter of fact, on April 4th, not even one migrant attempted to sail to Greek islands from Aegean beaches. The figure for the month of April is around 80 to 90. The fact that the number of migrants crossing has decreased to 80 to 90 from 6800 is a clear sign that the work we are carrying with the European Union is a clear success," said Ahmet Davutoglu, Turkish prime minister.

Turkey and the EU last month sealed a controversial deal intended to halt illegal migration to Europe in return for financial and political rewards for Ankara. Under the deal, Ankara gets more EU funding for refugees on its soil, revival of long-stalled EU accession talks and visa liberalisation for Turks travelling to Europe.

In exchange, Turkey is due to prevent migrants and refugees from departing from its shores for Europe via irregular routes and take back all who reach the 28-nation bloc that way. Davutoglu said around 20 Syrians had been readmitted to Turkey under the deal, with Turkey sending 110 Syrians to Europe for resettlement.

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