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EU leaders gather to tackle migrant crisis

Thursday, March 17, 2016 - 01:34

European leaders gather in Brussels for a summit to discuss a migrant deal with Turkey aimed at curbing the influx of migrants into Europe. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.

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The scramble for food at a migrant camp in Greece, along the Macedonia border. A woman from Mosul, nine months pregnant -- likely to give birth in the camp -- part of the backdrop as European leaders gather in Brussels where they hope to craft a migrant deal with Turkey to help curb the migrant influx into Europe. Cautious optimism from German Chancellor Angela Merkel: (SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN FEDERAL CHANCELLOR, ANGELA MERKEL, SAYING: "I believe it is possible -- and I am consciously cautious -- I believe it is possible to find such a common position." Under a proposed plan, Turkey would take back all those, including Syrian refugees, who cross to Greek islands. The EU would also double an agreed 3 billion euro fund to help refugees in Turkey. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipris says something needs to be done SOUNDBITE) (English) GREEK PRIME MINISTER, ALEXIS TSIPRAS, SAYING: "I'm waiting today to take (for) a decision to assist Greece in these difficult circumstances especially in our northern borders in Idomeni." As thousands linger in camps -- the coming hours could be critical. Ankara's central objective in the deal is visa-free travel for Turks to Europe by June -- but that will depend on Turkey meeting a raft of long-standing EU criteria. And for thousands stuck in limbo there are still no guarantees.

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EU leaders gather to tackle migrant crisis

Thursday, March 17, 2016 - 01:34