EU calls for closer cooperation on refugee crisis with Turkey

xinhuanet.com 06-Oct-2015

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Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker address a brief statement prior to their meeting at the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, Oct. 5, 2015. (Xinhua/Ye Pingfan)

BRUSSELS, Oct. 5 (Xinhua) -- European Council President Donald Tusk on Monday met with visiting President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan, calling for closer cooperation on coping with refugee crisis.

"The situation where hundreds of thousands of people are fleeing to the EU via Turkey must be stopped. And we cannot do it on our own, we need the Turkish side," said Tusk after the two leaders' meeting.

He said that in order to solve this crisis, the two sides discussed financial assistance, border management, fight against smugglers, integration policies and visa liberalization, noting that the is ready to take up all issues with Turkey so they also discussed a possible buffer zone in .

Tusk briefed that the two sides had been very engaged in talks the last days and weeks. The European Union (EU) and Turkey share a shared challenge at hand, which is "the many refugees and migrants in and crossing through Turkey to EU countries."

The two sides also discussed issues including the urgent need to find a solution to the conflict in Syria.

Erdogan kicked off his visit to Brussels on Monday, when he was scheduled to meet the presidents of the top three EU institutions, and he will also hold a joint dinner with Tusk, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and European Parliament President Martin Schulz Monday evening.