Germany Agrees Migrant Deal with Egypt, Will Open ‘Refugee Reception Centre’ in Africa

A picture taken on June 27, 2017 shows Libyan coast guardsmen standing in a dinghy carrying illegal immigrants during a rescue operation of 147 people who were attempting to reach Europe, off the coastal town of Zawiyah, 45 kilometres west of the capital Tripoli. More than 8,000 migrants have been …

Germany and Egypt have agreed on a deal aimed at stemming the number of migrants heading to Europe, including opening a ‘refugee reception’ centre in the African nation.

“Under this agreement, there are a number of measures for political and economic support so that a better climate and better living conditions can be achieved for refugees in Egypt,” Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert told a news conference in Berlin Tuesday.

He said the deal would “fight illegal immigration and the criminal smuggling of people”, adding: “Together, we will set up a centre for jobs, migration and reintegration,” according to Reuters news agency.

This centre would be in Egypt, a so-called transit country for refugees and economic migrants aiming to reach Europe.

More than a million migrants have arrived in Germany over the past two years since Mrs. Merkel suspended EU border rules and said her nation would take “no upper limit” of new arrivals.

The policy split her conservative coalition, with her party’s Bavarian sister party criticising her and calling for a cap on new arrivals. With Federal elections to be held next month, Mrs. Merkel is keen to look like she has control of the migrant issue.

Meanwhile, France is currently discussing a new migrant deal with North African nations, and European Parliament President Antonio Tajani has called on EU leaders to set aside €6 billion in financial aid for Libya.

French President Emmanuel Macron hosted a summit of the EU’s “big four” continental powers, including Germany, to discuss the migrant crisis with leaders from Libya, Chad, and Niger on Monday.

In March 2016, the European Union (EU) and Turkey struck a deal to reduce the number of migrants leaving the nation for Europe. The numbers fell dramatically afterwards.

Turkey was given billions in aid, with the EU agreeing to take one migrant from camps in Turkey for every one returned across the Aegean sea after illegally sailing to Greece.

Around 850,000 migrants in Turkey are now receiving cash handouts from the EU, and the programme aims to support 1.3 million migrants by the end of the year.

Since the beginning of the migrant crisis, there has been a surge of migrants from relatively safe nations, overtaking those from war-torn nations such as Syria. However, 73 per cent of illegal economic migrants crossing the Mediterranean are never sent back.

North Africa, and Libya, in particular, are now the main departure points after the EU agreed on the deal with Turkey.

Italy has become the main arrival point, with Spain becoming increasingly popular, such that is likely to attract more sea-arrivals this year than Greece.


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