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EU-Turkey refugee deal distraction from real issue: Analyst

Refugees stand at a makeshift camp on the Greek-Macedonian border near the Greek village of Idomeni on March 11, 2016. ©AFP

Press TV has conducted an interview with Robert Evans, a former member of the European Parliament, and Richard Millett, a journalist and political commentator, both from London, to discuss the impact of an EU-Turkey draft deal on the situation of Syrian refugees.

Evans criticizes Europe for attaching the refugee crisis to Turkey’s bid to gain membership of the European Union under the controversial agreement.

The politician says the EU-Turkey deal is a “distraction from the real” refugee crisis, adding that the European states have “closed their eyes” to the plight of refugees and “done very little” to save their lives.

Millions of Syrian refugees have found shelter in neighboring Lebanon, but Europe has not done enough to support the violence-stricken Syrians arriving in the continent, he says.

The analyst stresses the need for a common European policy on asylum-seekers so that they could properly address the situation.  

Evans says Britain’s share in the refugee burden is “a drop in the ocean” as it has agreed to take in only 20,000 refugees within five years, adding that this is not enough on the part of London to help the asylum seekers.

The European Union has significantly contributed to the deadly crisis in Syria by supplying weapons to the Takfiri militants operating there, says Evans, stressing that the bloc has the blood of Syrians on its hands.

Lane, for his part, says Germany and Britain have already shown their readiness to take in Syrian refugees, adding that Syrian nationals need to be discouraged from taking the perilous journey to Europe.

He argues that Europe alone is not to blame for the refugee crisis, criticizing Syria’s neighbors for not allowing in asylum seekers to prevent them from drowning in the Mediterranean.

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