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Council of Europe welcomes European Commission's clarifications on migrant crisis

Xinhua, March 18, 2016 Adjust font size:

The secretary general of the Council of Europe (CoE), Thorbjorn Jagland, expressed his satisfaction here on Thursday with clarifications provided by the European Commission on the agreement currently under negotiation between the European Union (EU) and Turkey regarding the refugee crisis.

"It is extremely important that every application for asylum should be treated individually and there should be no question of 'blanket' returns or refoulement, in line with the case law of the European Court of Human Rights," he said.

The European Commission affirmed on Wednesday that the draft agreement to return all migrants arriving in Greece to Turkey would not violate international law, rejecting all programs for "collective returns" or "expulsions" of asylum seekers. The draft agreement foresees the EU receiving one Syrian refugee present on Turkish soil for every Syrian returned to Turkey from Greece.

This question, legally contested within the ranks of the United Nations, as well as by certain member states and humanitarian organizations, has created deep concerns while European heads of state and government are gathered in Brussels with the hope of finalizing an agreement with Ankara on the state of migrants, and more specifically, Syrian refugees. Endit