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EU rejects Ankara’s accusations of failing to honor 2016 refugee deal: report

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EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson has rejected Turkey’s accusations that Brussels has failed to honor its side of a refugee deal signed between the two parties in 2016 to curb the flow of migrants landing on Greek shores, according to AFP.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu complained on Wednesday that Turkey had not received the full first instalment of 3 billion euros ($3.3 billion), out of a total 6 billion euros pledged by the EU.

The EU provides money every month for food for refugees and pays wages to teachers, Johansson said, adding that the money is also spent on building schools and healthcare centers.

Turkey hosts about 4 million refugees, mostly Syrian, and the commissioner stressed the need to continue cooperation with Ankara.

Johansson also added that Europe could “do much more to facilitate the return” of failed asylum seekers. “This is important that we make the distinction between those that are eligible to stay, they should be welcomed, and those who are not eligible to stay, they have to be returned,” she said.

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