Video Turkey's prime minister and the president of the European Union on Friday praised the agreement to return new asylum seekers who arrive in Greece from Turkey.
By JAMES KANTER
MARCH 18, 2016
BRUSSELS — The European Union and Turkey reached a deal on Friday to return new asylum seekers who arrive in Greece from Turkey, as soon as Sunday, a long-awaited and significant step in the bloc’s effort to deal with the migrant crisis that has left tens of thousands of people in squalid conditions.
The leaders of the 28 nations in the bloc and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu of Turkey approved the accord after two days of talks and over strenuous objections from humanitarian groups, who said the deal violated international law on the treatment of refugees.
The accord with Turkey represents a moment of painful compromise for Europe. Turkey has taken an authoritarian turn under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Europe was forced to accept some Turkish demands to gain its cooperation in stopping the large numbers of people using the Aegean Sea to reach Greece.