EU-Turkey meeting on the refugee problem to take place November 29

EU-Turkey meeting on the refugee problem to take place November 29

Athens, November 13, 2015/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Spiros Sideris

With the completion of the Euro-African conference on migration and the informal EU summit on the refugee crisis, the works in the capital of Malta were completed late on Thursday afternoon.

According to IBNA information, it was decided to hold an EU-Turkey summit on the refugee crisis on November 29, where all issues will be put on the table to find a solution to the increased refugee flow from Turkey to Greece and from there to Europe.

On Thursday afternoon the Greek prime minister made statements about the works of the two summits.

The statements Alexis Tsipras

“The western world, Europe, is facing the largest refugee crisis since the Second World War. The size of refugee flows, the movement of populations are the biggest we have seen since the Second World War. Therefore, we all understand the need to contemplate not only on the impact, but also to the causes that give rise to the need for these people to leave their homes.

The two-day summit in Malta, he said, had two chapters. The first EU was the meeting with African countries, the second was the discussion among the 28 member states on how to proceed in the need to reach an understanding with Turkey.

Regarding the first part, of course it was very important that this Summit took place, but Europe and the advanced Western World are not yet in a position to give  substantial answers to the large and critical questions which are, “what compels these people to move from their homes in masses”. The answer can be no other than the fact that they are forced by wars, clashes and foreign interventions, but also the timeless looting of the natural resources of these countries by multinational companies from the developed West. Therefore we who live in the developed Western countries should not be surprised for these massive flows. We should be troubled and think that if the climate change continues, in a few years we might be facing flows that will not only have to do with the lack of security, employment and dignity for these people, but also the lack of water.

Therefore, it is positive that there was a summit, but we must seek for the answers elsewhere, we must make more coordinated efforts for a peaceful solution to the differences, coordinated attempts to give a development momentum to the third world countries to settle their debts, but this is something that is too far away from the discussion in EU today and in the developed Western world as a whole.

Turkey

With regard to the discussion for the necessity to reach an understanding with Turkey, I had taken this proposal on the ‘heads of state summit’ last April, expressing the need for a separate summit with Turkey, but also an effort to reach an understanding with the Turkish authorities. It is good, therefore, that today these decisions have been taken and there will be, has already began, a substantial attempt for discussion and understanding with the Turkish government, which we believe leads to a common action plan and in a summit with the Turkey until the end of November.

My trip to Turkey next week and my meetings with Turkish PM Davutoglu and President Erdogan takes place within this context and under this strategy. It is crystal clear that the only chance to stop these flows, flows so large that no country – let alone Greece in time of crisis – can manage, is to have a meaningful settlement attempt of the refugee crisis. The only possibility is to reach an understanding with Turkey, in order to provide financial assistance, but also the possibility to have on the turkish coast, instead of the greek islands, an organised attempt to create host enters, that is the hotspots to be transferred on the other side and have there an organised process of the relocationof refugees in central Europe, not from the Greek islands but from Turkey.

That should be the goal of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Turkish side. In this direction I will have the chance to talk with the government of the neighboring country and in this context all the issues regarding the accession process of Turkey’s EU course are obviously open for discussion, always provided that conditions will be met. In this context I had the chance to speak with President Anastasiades. For us it is extremely important for the steps to be taken towards the democratisation of Turkey, which are necessary conditions of the accession procedure, always of course with the condition that there is respect for International Law, the recognition of the Republic of Cyprus, but also the democratic efforts for a fair and viable solution to the Cyprus problem.