President of the European Council Donald Tusk and First Vice-President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans pay tribute to the victims of an attack on military shuttles in the Turkish capital, which claimed 28 lives on Feb 17.
The president of the European Council, Donald Tusk, said during a joint press conference with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu that he welcomed Ankara's recent move to open its labor market to Syrian refugees.
More than 2 million Syrians flocked to Turkey since the start of the civil war in Turkey and Tusk was in Ankara to fine-tune a deal between the European Union, which is also facing a refugee problem, and Turkey on the flow.
The most important thing is to observe Syria ceasefire, but it was difficult to be optimistic given past experience, Tusk also said.
Some powers are interested in using migrant crisis as political tool, he said, while responding to journalists.
The Council head said he did not agree specific numbers with Turkey on reduction of migrant flow, adding that the final goal is elimination of illegal migration and smuggling into Europe.
‘Turkey will decide on best model'
It was up to Turkey to decide how best to reduce the flow of migrant, he said, adding that he agreed with Davutoğlu on need to implement a trust fund plan.
Sending refugees back would break smugglers' business model, he also said.
PM Davutoğlu, on his side, said it was wrong to leave the migration crisis on shoulders of Turkey and Greece alone.
A cease-fire in Syria would help cutting the number of new refugees from the war hit country, he said.
However, the breaches of cease-fire by the regime and Russia leave the deal “very vulnerable,” he said.
Turkey abides by the joint migration action plan signed with the EU and will continue to fulfill it, he said.