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Brussels Talks: EU Countries Approve Turkey Refugee Action Plan

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EU countries have backed an action plan with Turkey, which it is hoped will ease the flow of refugees to Europe.

Nearly 600,000 refugees have reached the European Union by sea so far this year, many of them travelling from Turkey.

The EU leaders agreed to speed up visa liberalization talks for Turks if Ankara stems the influx and to “re-energize” Turkey’s accession dialogue.

Photo Reuters

Photo Reuters

European Council President Donald Tusk said he felt “cautious optimism” over the deal.

Meanwhile a refugee thought to be Afghan was shot dead by a Bulgarian border guard after entering the country from Turkey on October 15.

Bulgarian PM Boyko Borisov left the Brussels talk on hearing the news.

Turkey had also asked for €3 billion ($3.4 billion) in aid, something German Chancellor Angela Merkel said EU states were considering.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said talks over the aid would continue with Turkish officials over the coming days.

Angela Merkel will travel to Turkey at the weekend.

EU sources had said several countries were cautious about coming to an agreement with Turkey too quickly. Among them were Greece, Cyprus and France.