Erdogan, Tusk discuss refugee crisis

Brussels: European Council President Donald Tusk met visiting Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, calling for closer cooperation on refugee crisis.

“The situation where hundreds of thousands of people are fleeing to the EU via Turkey must be stopped. We cannot do it on our own, we need the Turkish side,” Xinhua quoted Tusk as saying after the two leaders’ meeting on Monday.

He said in order to solve this crisis, the two sides discussed financial assistance, border management, fight against smugglers, integration policies and visa liberalisation.

Tusk said the two sides had been engaged in talks. The EU and Turkey share a challenge of “the refugees and migrants in and crossing through Turkey to EU countries”.

The two sides also discussed issues including the urgent need to find a solution to the conflict in Syria.

While receiving Erdogan on Monday, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said the topics of the meeting were not only about refugees, but also about relation between turkey and the EU, as well as the accession process.
“I’m in favour of seeing the visa issue moving forward and being accelerated,” said Juncker.

Turkey welcomed 2.2 million Syrian refugees and 300,000 Iraqi refugees in the country, said Erdogan.