EU’s migrant deal with Turkey said to ignore ‘root cause’ of crisis

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The European Union has agreed to pay Turkey an additional 3 billion euros to help Ankara deal with the Syrian migration crisis.

The agreement was made during a EU migration summit in Brussels on March 7, according to a report by Reuters.

Syrians gather at the Bab al-Salam border gate with Turkey, in Syria on Feb. 6. /Bunyamin Aygun/AP
Syrians gather at the Bab al-Salam border gate with Turkey on Feb. 6. /Bunyamin Aygun/AP

The agreement included a proposal that “Turkey would take back all irregular migrants from Greek islands, including Syrians, while the EU would then admit directly from Turkey one Syrian refugee for every Syrian readmitted to Turkey from the Greek islands,” the report said.

The EU offer of 3 billion euros doubled the amount of an earlier offer.

The EU also agreed to accelerate the lifting of visa requirements for Turkish citizens in the Schengen zone by the end of June of this year.

According to Reuters, the summit agreement also references steps in the process of negotiating Turkish accession to the European Union.

Meanwhile, The Syria Campaign (TSC), an independent group focusing on the protection of civilians in Syria, said on March 7 that EU politicians must deal with the root cause of the crisis.

“World leaders have done nothing to stop the killing machine in Syria. Most Syrian refugees in Europe are fleeing from the bombs and brutality of the Assad regime, not from ISIL or other extremist groups,” TSC’s James Sadri said.

“It’s a deep source of shame that Europe can mobilize military ships to block those who are fleeing war and poverty, but can’t lift a finger to stop the Assad regime’s violence that is the leading cause of this exodus. If European leaders want to resolve the Syrian refugee crisis they must work seriously to find a solution to the root cause.”