The UK has announced a deal with Turkey to enhance cooperation on tackling illegal migration, which includes a new operational “center of excellence” to be established by the Turkish National Police, Agence France-Presse reported.
London announced the plan late Tuesday as part of its attempts to reduce illegal migration to the UK, a key political issue.
The new UK-backed center will “enrich existing expertise in both countries with respect to activities aimed at disrupting criminal networks organizing illegal journeys”, according to a statement from the interior ministry.
The UK will also deploy more officers in Turkey to disrupt the criminal gangs who run the illegal migration routes.
The two countries reiterated their commitment to work together to tackle the problem and to strengthen cooperation with countries of origin and transit.
The UK government is under particular pressure to stop migrants making illegal crossings of the Channel.
“As I’ve made clear, we must do everything we can to smash the people smuggling gangs and stop the boats,” said interior minister Suella Braverman as her department announced the deal.
“Our partnership with Turkey, a close friend and ally, will enable our law enforcement agencies to work together on this international problem and tackle the small boat supply chain,” she added.
The new plan will feature heavily at the upcoming UK-Turkey Migration Dialogue meeting, due to take place in London later this year.