Borisov says migration issue solely political, defends talks with Turkey at EU Summit

Borisov says migration issue solely political, defends talks with Turkey at EU Summit

Thanks to the agreement signed between Turkey and the European Union in March 2016, Europe is not facing refugee influxes like it did in the previous years, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov said after a two-day summit.

Speaking at a press conference in Brussels yesterday, Borisov said the issue of migration is not "really about migration and in fact it is only political issue" that the bloc has to solve.

His words came after Italy brought a deadlock to the summit on Thursday evening by not signing any part of the EU Summit conclusion after Rome failed to get what it demanded from the bloc.

After hours of long discussion, the EU leaders came to a deal with Italy and announced series of action to be taken to ease Italy's "burden." While EU Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker briefly touched upon how effective the deal signed with Turkey was, the EU leaders refrained from commenting on the other points that the EU Agreement sought to solve, including visa liberalization for Turkish citizens and upgrading the rusty Customs Union.

Ankara's frustration has been growing as the bloc enjoys the fruits of the deal with Turkey and at the same time targets Ankara on its internal matters. When answering a question on how the EU is going to tackle new flows of migration in the Mediterranean, which is incomparable to what Turkey prevented, the Bulgarian premier said the deal with Turkey is "working 100 percent" and reminded the meeting he had with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Juncker and Tusk in Varna.

Commenting on anti-Turkey rhetoric reaching its peak in Europe with certain countries openly targeting Turkey's leadership, Borisov said the meeting took place in an atmosphere when many Europeans did not want to hold talks with Ankara.

Before touching upon handing over Bulgaria's EU term presidency to Austria, Borisov also compared the amount of support Sofia had and said it was three-fold less then what Athens received. He asked for greater support from the EU for Bulgaria "which shares an equal amount of Turkey's border with Greece."

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