EU strikes deal with Turkey to return migrants

The European Commission on Thursday announced that it had struck a deal with Ankara foreseeing the repatriation of illegal migrants arriving in Greece via Turkey though this will only apply to Turkish immigrants at first.

?The final adjustments to the draft European Union readmission agreement with Turkey were agreed and the negotiation has now come to its end,? European Home Affairs commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said.

In a written statement issued on Thursday, Greek Foreign Ministry spokesman Grigoris Delavekouras said he hoped ?the agreement will be put into effect as soon as possible and help curb illegal immigration.? But the pact – to be rubber-stamped by EU interior ministers in Brussels on February 24 – does not satisfy Greece?s demand for the repatriation of all migrants arriving from Turkey. According to EU officials, the pact will apply immediately for Turkish illegal migrants but will only be extended to cover migrants from third countries, who entered Greece via Turkey, in four years from now.