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Berlin assures deal on refugees with Turkey works despite discord with Ankara

GERMANY, March 20. /TASS/. The agreement on refugees signed by the EU and Turkey works by and large, in spite of all the points of contention over a ban on Turkish politicians’ speeches in European countries," German Foreign Ministry Spokesman, Martin Schaefer, told a press briefing on Monday.

"The deal works well as a whole. No reason to change anything here," he said. "We expect every part of the agreement to be implemented and are working in the areas where this has not happened yet. However, the agreement does work on the whole," Schaefer emphasized.

The parties signed an agreement that provides for steps to reduce the migrant flow at the EU-Turkey summit on March 17-18. Under this agreement, all illegal migrants coming to the Greek islands from Turkish territory are sent back. The EU receives directly from Turkey refugees who have been checked by the local migration service, who have been granted legal status and have a relevant document package.

The exchange of illegal migrants for individuals who have been granted refugee status is carried out on the "one for one" basis. The agreement also envisages strengthening the protection of Turkey’s land border with Greece with a view to curbing the flow of migrants.