Hollande seeks 'global' refugee deal to include Turkey, Greece

Paris is pressing to include financial aid to Greece amid refugee crisis, says French president

Hollande seeks 'global' refugee deal to include Turkey, Greece

World Bulletin / News Desk

France will not accept a European agreement on the refugee crisis unless it includes financial assistance to Greece, said President Francois Hollande on Thursday.

Hollande told reporters in Brussels, where he is participating in a summit of the European Union to prepare for talks on a refugee deal with Turkey, that a "global" agreement is needed.

“What I want is a global agreement with Turkey; that’s necessary,” Hollande said.

He continued: “Turkey is hosting a lot of refugees and Turkey is essential so we can return a number of migrants from Greece to Turkey.”

However, the French leader said there must be “guarantees that what Turkey wants to organize can be done also in terms of the law because we must respect the right of asylum.”

Hollande said the global agreement should then include Greece "because if Greece is not helped it cannot cope" with the flow of migrants.

All 28 EU heads of government are gathering in Brussels on Thursday to discuss how refugees and migrants entering Europe via Greece could be sent back to Turkey.

Under Turkey’s proposal to the EU, the country wants the 28-nation bloc to "share the burden'' based on a formula of "for every Syrian readmitted by Turkey from the Greek islands, another Syrian will be resettled from Turkey to the EU member states".

Ankara also wants visa liberalization by June, speeding up Turkey’s accession talks and an additional three billion euros [$3.4 billion] to meet the needs of Syrian refugees in the country.

Over the past year, hundreds of thousands of refugees have crossed the Aegean Sea to reach Greece. This has placed a huge strain on the austerity-hit EU member and threatened the EU’s internal open border system, as countries to the north of Greece impose frontier restrictions.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 18 Mart 2016, 09:24