Croatia will receive 500 refugees from Turkey, says FM

Foreign Minister Miro Kovac said on Tuesday that Croatia would receive less than 500 refugees from Turkey as part of an agreement between the European Union and Turkey which went into force on Monday.

Turkey agreed with the EU to take in all the migrants and refugees who illegally reach the Greek islands across the Aegean Sea, and in exchange for every refugee received, one from Turkey will be received in the EU.

"We have committed to receiving less than 500 refugees from Turkey," Kovac told RTL television. "We will fulfil that commitment," he said, adding that the success of the agreement depended on whether other EU member states would comply with their commitments.

Croatia is expected to take in 1,600 refugees in total from two programmes - relocation from one EU member state to another, and resettlement from third countries (Turkey, Jordan) to the EU.

Kovac said that thanks to the closure of the Balkan route, the arrival of refugees in Croatia had significantly decreased and that less than 200 were currently at the Slavonski Brod refugee centre.

He dismissed speculation that the countries along the route closed it at Germany's urging. "That's our initiative. We are mature enough and found a common ground in that with our colleagues from Austria, Slovenia, Serbia and Macedonia."

"Through that coordination, we have managed to reduce the number of refugees, helping the European Union, notably Germany," he said. Germany received over a million migrants and refugees last year, the most in the EU.

Last update: Fri, 24/06/2016 - 08:49

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