EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell arrives for the European Foreign Ministers and Interior Ministers Council in Brussels, Belgium, 15 March 2021 | Photo: EPA/O. Hoslet
EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell arrives for the European Foreign Ministers and Interior Ministers Council in Brussels, Belgium, 15 March 2021 | Photo: EPA/O. Hoslet

The EU high representative for foreign affairs, Josep Borrell, has declared that a migrant deal between Europe and Turkey remains valid. He said the accord reached five years ago has produced "tangible results."

The European Union's most senior foreign affairs official, Josep Borrell, on Monday affirmed the validity of the EU pact with Turkey on migration. Borrell was responding to journalists who asked him whether the accord would be renewed.

"The EU-Turkey Declaration remains valid and must be implemented and will continue to remain the fundamental framework for cooperation and migration," Borrell said. "It is a commitment of reciprocal trust that calls for continuous efforts on everyone's part. It has been much criticized but I think it has produced tangible results," he said.

'Reduced victims and illegal crossings'

"We have brought a significant decrease in victims, a reduction in irregular border crossings, and improved the situation of migrants and refugees in Turkey," Borrell added. "I believe that in the future an accord of this type must be reached. The refugees are still there and they always need our support," he said.

Borrell said that at the next EU summit, discussions will involve "our relations with Turkey, and this Statement must be taken into account" because "it will be part of the future of our relations" with Ankara.

Discussion to renew commitment

The EU High Representative also specified that "it is in our interest to avoid irregular departures, avoid the loss of human life and help Turkey shoulder this burden". He also announced that there will be a "discussion between us, between European institutions and European leaders and then with Turkey to try to reach a renewal of this common commitment."

 

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