As European Union leaders rejoice over the impending deal with Turkey intended toward solving the migration crisis, humanitarian groups say the accord will not solve the problem. Nathan Frandino reports.
The tentative deal would have Turkey take back all migrants who cross into Europe in return for more money, faster EU membership talks, and visa-free travel. More than a million people fleeing war and poverty entered the EU since last year, most making the perilous sea crossing from Turkey to Greece. Vincent Cochetel is the Europe director at the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees. (SOUNDBITE) (English) UNITED NATIONS OFFICE OF THE HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES' (UNHCR) DIRECTOR FOR EUROPE, VINCENT COCHETEL, SAYING: "An agreement that would be tantamount to blanket return of any foreigners to a third country is not consistent with European law, is not consistent with international law." Migrants marooned in squalor on Greece's closed border with Macedonia have vowed to keep trying to cross Europe. Most say they're disappointed by the plan. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MIGRANT FROM SYRIA, AHMED, SAYING: "Finally they said no way to go through these borders. This make us feel so bad, angry." Syrian refugees in Turkey have also said they would not be deterred by the lock-down. For local Turks in Izmir, the deal doesn't solve much. (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) IZMIR RESIDENT, ARMAGAN GULCICEK, SAYING: "Whatever is necessary should be done. All the refugees could be rounded up and taken to a single place and that would be my choice." If officials seal the deal, those who cross would be returned to Turkey and be placed at the back of the line for legal asylum and resettlement in Europe. Officials will meet again to wrap up the deal on March 17.