Protect our borders or be blackmailed, Tusk tells EU

22nd April 2016, Comments 0 comments

Europe must protect its borders against the influx of migrants or risk being blackmailed by neighbouring countries, European Council President Donald Tusk wrote Friday in French newspaper Le Figaro.

"No-one is going to protect our borders for us. We cannot just hand over the keys to our territory," Tusk wrote.

"That applies to Turkey as much as for the countries of North Africa.

"Our powerlessness could lead to a temptation to blackmail Europe," Tusk warned.

Tusk and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are to visit the city of Gaziantep, on Turkey's border with Syria, on Saturday.

They will assess Ankara's compliance with the deal it struck with the European Union in March to curb the flow of migrants who board boats from Turkey heading for Europe.

In return for stepping up efforts to stop migrants crossing to EU territory, Turkey has been given a string of promises from the EU -- including visa-free travel to the border-free Schengen Zone and new momentum for its long-stalled membership bid.

Tusk said the deal "shows that Europe must set clear limits to its concessions. We can negotiate money, but never our values."

© 2016 AFP

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