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Old 11-29-2015, 02:19 PM   #1
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Default Declaring 'new beginning,' EU, Turkey seal migrant deal

By Francesco Guarascio and Robin Emmott BRUSSELS - Turkey will help stem the flow of migrants to Europe in return for cash, visas and renewed talks on joining the EU in a deal struck on Sunday that the Turkish prime minister called a "new beginning" for the uneasy neighbors. Leaders of the 28 European Union states met Turkish premier Ahmet Davutoglu in Brussels on Sunday evening to give their collective political blessing to an agreement hammered out by diplomats over the past few weeks. A key element is 3 billion euros ($3.2 billion) in EU aid for the 2.2 million Syrian refugees in Turkey, intended to raise living standards and so persuade more to stay put rather than attempt often perilous crossings to the Greek islands and the EU.




Declaring 'new beginning,' EU, Turkey seal migrant deal
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Old 11-29-2015, 02:38 PM   #2
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Turkey to be choke-hold for migrant flow...

EU Offers Turkey 3 Billion Euros to Stem Migrant Flow
NOV. 29, 2015 — Under heavy pressure from Germany to get a grip on Europe’s migrant crisis after months of dithering, European Union leaders met in Brussels on Sunday with Turkey’s prime minister to complete a deal that German Chancellor Angela Merkel hopes will slow the chaotic flood of asylum seekers into the 28-nation bloc.
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The meeting, the seventh gathering of European leaders since the spring regarding the highly divisive question of migration, took place days after Turkey shot down a Russian warplane and added a new element of uncertainty to a crisis that has overwhelmed Europe’s slow decision-making process. Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, according to diplomats, will be promised 3 billion euros in European aid and other inducements in exchange for Turkish action to stop migrants, most of them from the Middle East and Afghanistan, from reaching Greece and other countries on Europe’s outer fringe. Mr. Davutoglu is standing in for Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, at the Brussels meeting.

Speaking to reporters in Brussels before the meeting, Ms. Merkel said Europe had many reasons to work closely with Turkey but that the essential part of the negotiations was the need to “replace illegal migration with legal migration.” Her statement reflected a hope that the unruly flow of asylum-seekers — a mix of refugees fleeing war and economic migrants seeking a better life — can be brought under control before it reaches Europe. Europe wants Turkey’s help in identifying genuine refugees, notably Syrians, who would be allowed entry in an orderly fashion, and in halting people fleeing poverty who do not have an obvious right to protection under international law.

Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, the body representing European leaders, set out Europe’s objective in blunt terms: “Our main goal is to stem the flow of migrants to Europe,” he said, describing Turkey as a “key partner” on issues including counterterrorism and the civil war in Syria. But he stressed that Europe itself needed to do more to secure its external borders and that it could not “outsource this obligation to any third country,” like Turkey. Failing to protect the Continent’s outer borders, he warned, would mean that one of Europe’s most important achievements, the 26-nation visa-free zone known as Schengen, “will become history.”

Later, as the meeting got underway, Mr. Tusk told the summit that 1.5 million migrants had entered the European Union this year. It is unclear how secure any agreement reached with Turkey would be. Leaders first endorsed a so-called action plan with Turkey more than a month ago, but it was delayed by haggling over details. The Europeans still have not agreed on how to raise the 3 billion euros earmarked for Turkey, and putting the agreement into effect will ultimately depend on the Turkish president, Mr. Erdogan.

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Old 11-29-2015, 10:29 PM   #3
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Mebbe the real reason for closing the border...

War with Isis: President Obama demands that Turkey close stretch of border with Syria
29 Nov.`15 - Ankara is accused of tolerance of – if not complicity with – the terrorists, who use border as a crossing point for Isis recruits and oil sales
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The US is demanding that Turkey close a 60-mile stretch of its border with Syria which is the sole remaining crossing point for Isis militants, including some of those involved in the massacre in Paris and other terrorist plots. The complete closure of the 550-mile-long border would be a serious blow to Isis, which has brought tens of thousands of Islamist volunteers across the frontier over the past three years.

In the wake of the Isis attacks in Paris, Washington is making clear to Ankara that it will no longer accept Turkish claims that it is unable to cordon off the remaining short section of the border still used by Isis. “The game has changed. Enough is enough. The border needs to be sealed,” a senior official in President Barack Obama’s administration told The Wall Street Journal, describing the tough message that Washington has sent to the Turkish government. “This is an international threat, and it’s coming out of Syria and it’s coming through Turkish territory.”


The US estimates some 30,000 Turkish troops would be needed to close the border between Jarabulus on the Euphrates and the town of Kilis, further west in Turkey, according to the paper. US intelligence agencies say that the stretch of frontier most commonly used by Isis is between Jarabulus, where the official border crossing has been closed, and the town of Cobanbey.

It has become of crucial importance ever since the Syrian Kurdish forces known as the People’s Protection Units (YPG) captured the border crossing at Tal Abyad, 60 miles north of Isis’s capital of Raqqa in June. Turkey had kept that border crossing open while Isis was in control on the southern side, but immediately closed it when the YPG seized the crossing point. The Turkish authorities are refusing to allow even the bodies of YPG fighters, who are Turkish citizens and were killed fighting Isis, to be taken back across the border into Turkey.

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