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EU summit adopts joint plan of actions with Turkey on migration crisis fight

October 16, 2015, 2:27 updated at: October 16, 2015, 3:50 UTC+3 BRUSSELS
The summit of the European Union, currently underway in Brussels, has empowered the European agency Frontex with the right of returning migrants to their native countries
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People waiting to get inside a reception center for migrants and refugees in Croatia

People waiting to get inside a reception center for migrants and refugees in Croatia

© AP Photo/Marko Drobnjakovic

BRUSSELS, October 16. /TASS/. Participants in the summit of the European Union, underway in Brussels on October 15-16, adopted a joint plan of actions with Turkey on tackling the migration crisis, which Europe is currently facing, EU President Donald Tusk said following the opening day of the summit.

Tusk said he wanted to express his "cautious optimism" as important decisions on the protection of the European borders were made and the EU approved a joint plan of actions with Turkey to stem the flow of migrants to Europe.

"Allow me to express cautious optimism, and I have to underline of course the word cautious," Tusk said. "Tonight leaders took important decisions that will help secure the Union's external borders."

"We welcomed the agreement of an EU-Turkey joint action plan to tackle the current migratory crisis," he said. "Our intensified meetings with Turkish leaders here in Brussels, Ankara, and in New York in the last couple of weeks, were devoted to one goal: stemming the migratory flows that go via Turkey to the EU. The action plan is a major step in this direction."

"Still, as I made clear from the very start, an agreement with Turkey makes sense only if it effectively contains the flow of refugees," Tusk added.

Turkey is one of the major transit countries for migrants seeking asylum in the European Union’s member states.

Participants in the summit empowered the European agency Frontex with the right of returning migrants to their native countries, Tusk said .

"We agreed to work on an integrated border management system that will go beyond the Frontex mandate," the EU president said.

Tusk said the participants of the EU summit decided to turn the agency in the coming months into a more "operational body" with the main aim of empowering Frontex with the rights of deporting illegal migrants back to their native countries.

"In the coming months, the agency will be developed into a more operational body," Tusk said. "Our aim is to give Frontex the right to return irregular migrants on its own initiative, and to make it more proactive in protecting the external borders."

"Progress on genuine border security is in my opinion, a very important achievement of tonight," the EU chief said commenting on the results of the summit’s opening day.

"Not because I have advocated the need to protect the EU's borders, but because it is our first obligation to protect the European community, and to guarantee public order," he said. "We have made a step in this direction.".

"British PM Cameron’s planned proposals on EU changes welcomed"

Participants in the summit of the European Union, currently underway in Brussels, welcomed intentions of British Prime Minister David Cameron to put forward early next month his proposals on changes to the European organization, EU President Donald Tusk said.

Tusk said the participants in the summit welcomed British PM Cameron’s earlier statement on presenting concrete proposals concerning reformations in the European Union in early November.

Upon his arrival for the summit of the EU leaders in the Belgian capital on Thursday, Cameron announced that "The pace will now quicken and I'll be again setting out the four vital areas, where we need change, laying down what those changes will be at the start of November.".

Second day of EU summit in Brussels cancelled

The second day of the European Union’s summit, which opened in Brussels on Thursday, has been cancelled, the press service of the Council of Europe reported.

The press service said that the second day of the summit, scheduled for Friday, October 16, has been cancelled.

No reasons for the cancellation or further details were available at the moment.

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