Top EU officials and Merkel to visit Turkey on April 23

Top EU officials and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will visit Turkey on April 23 in the wake of a deal struck with the country to stem migration flows.

Merkel, EU President Donald Tusk and European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans will travel to Gaziantep, Tusk's office announced. The trip is meant to be a "follow-up" to the EU-Turkey deal, it said, without giving further details.

Gaziantep is located in southern Turkey near the border with Syria and is home to many Syrians who have fled the conflict in their home country.

Refugee camps run by Turkey's disaster management agency are located all along the border, although only about 12 per cent of Syrian refugees live in them.

The EU-Turkey migration deal struck on March 18 seeks to put an end to a migration influx that saw more than 1 million people reach European shores last year.

Most of them came via Turkey to Greece and then sought to move on to wealthy northern European countries - notably Germany.

Under the deal, migrants and asylum seekers reaching the Greek islands as of March 20 can be returned to Turkey. In exchange, the EU has pledged to directly take in one Syrian from Turkey in return for every Syrian refugee the country takes back.

Last update: Fri, 24/06/2016 - 08:49
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