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In the course of the two-day deliberations at the Valletta Summit on Migration (11-12.11), attended by EU and African nations and followed by anEU informal summit later today (12.11) on the European response to the refugee crisis, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is advancing Greece’s position that the issue of refugee and migrant flows must be seen as a joint European problem and not an issue for just the first reception countries. Greece sees the issue as a primarily humanitarian one, caused by regional crises and poverty in the countries of origin, and as such must be dealt with at an international level.
The Greek PM wants to make clear that a comprehensive policy must be found to tackle trafficking rings and will pursue, at the informal summit, a central role for Greece in the EU’s negotiations with Turkey on managing the refugee flows, ahead of his visit to Turkey next week. The Greek government seeks to transfer the process of refugee identification and resettlement in Turkey, providing her with help to guard her borders, while Turkey wants a relaxation of visa requirements for its citizens, an acceleration of EU accession talks and funding for the handling of refugee flows.
The Valletta Summit focus is on addressing the root causes of migration by promoting peace, stability and economic development, improving promotion and organization of legal migration channels, strengthening the protection of migrants and asylum seekers, especially vulnerable groups, tackling migrant exploitation and trafficking and enhancing cooperation on the return and readmission of migrants. The EU informal summit will focus on cooperation with third countries, including Turkey, implementation of decisions on relocation, creation of hotspots and increasing of reception capacity in Greece and Italy, and strengthening control of the EU’s external borders.