Turkish PM, EC Pres. discuss deal on illegal migrants

ANKARA, May 3 (KUNA) — Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker on Tuesday discussed, via phone, the Turkey-EU deal on illegal migrants.
The Turkish Anadolu News Agency quoted a source from the Turkish Premiership as saying that both sides have expressed satisfaction about the sharp drop in the number of illegal migrants to Europe since the enforcement of the deal, on April 4th.
The source noted that Davutoglu and Juncker also touched upon Turkey’s request to exempt its citizenry from the EU visa requirements.
In a related development, the Anadolu reported that refugee casualties in the Turkish sector of the Aegean Sea dropped to zero in April, 2016, according to updated data from the Turkish Coast Guard.
The drop in deaths follows a European Union-Turkey deal which aimed to break people-smuggling gangs which have been trafficking refugees and migrants across the Aegean to nearby Greek islands.
In March, a total of 32 people were killed, whereas 38 died in February and 103 lost their lives in January.
Over the past year, thousands of people have made short-but-perilous attempts to cross the Aegean in a bid to reach Greece, before going on to Northern and Western Europe.
The EU-Turkey agreement allows for the return of “irregular migrants” to Turkey from Greece in exchange for Syrian refugees to be relocated within the EU. (end) rs.ibi

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