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EU Welcomes Turkey Refugee Pact as Libya Deaths Show New Risks

  • 500 feared dead as migrant boat sinks in Mediterranean: UN
  • Arrivals in Greece from Turkey more than halved in March
Updated on

The European Union touted its accord with Turkey to stem the influx of refugees as the threat of human traffickers switching routes was underlined by a United Nations report that 500 migrants traveling between Libya and Italy may have drowned.

The March 18 agreement, under which irregular migrants who enter the EU in Greece are sent back to Turkey and Syrian refugees in Turkish camps are resettled in Europe, is meant to discourage people smuggling and dangerous sea crossings. So far, 325 irregular migrants -- including two Syrians -- have been sent to Turkey from Greece and 103 Syrian refugees on Turkish soil have been resettled in the EU, the European Commission said on Wednesday in Brussels.