The Latest: Polish PM against new quota of sharing migrants

AP News
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Posted: Nov 29, 2015 4:25 PM
The Latest: Polish PM against new quota of sharing migrants

BRUSSELS (AP) — The latest on the mass movement of asylum-seekers and others seeking refuge in Europe. All times local:

9:25 p.m.

Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo says that she is against any new quota of migrants that the EU might set for its member countries to share.

Szydlo spoke to reporters Sunday, following an EU-Turkey summit that focused largely on their response to an influx of migrants through Syrian neighbor Turkey into the 28-member European bloc.

Poland, which is not on the migrants' route, has agreed to accept some 7,000 refugees, but is prickly about the figure.

"We are against any new quota to be established, and this approach could also be heard in some other (leaders') speeches," Szydlo said in Brussels.

She said that the summit's main conclusion was that the issue of migrants should be solved "outside the EU borders" with EU's financial help.

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8:40 p.m.

Turkey's prime minister says his country and the European Union are paying the price for the "failure" of the U.N. system to solve Syria's crisis.

Ahmet Davutoglu spoke to reporters Sunday at the end of an EU-Turkey summit focusing largely on their response to an influx of migrants through Syrian neighbor Turkey into the 28-member European bloc.

Speaking alongside EU leaders, Davotoglu said Turkey has taken in 2 million to 2.2 million refugees.

Alluding to Europe and Turkey, he said: "We are paying the price of the failure of the U.N. system not to solve the problem of the Syrian crisis at the earlier stages of the crisis."

--This corrects Turkish prime minister's first name to Ahmet, not Ahmed.

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8:35 p.m.

The European Union and Turkey say that their joint summit has re-energized Turkey's EU membership drive.

EU president Donald Tusk said at the end of the four-hour summit Sunday that after years of a standstill and sluggish progress at best, the membership drive should make quick progress.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said "Turkish membership will be an asset" and added that "no disagreements emerged" during the meeting.

EU President Donald Tusk also saw the summit as a new starting point in relations.

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7:25 p.m.

French President Francois Hollande says the European Union will need to monitor Turkey's commitments "step-by-step" to help end Syria's political crisis, fight terrorism and deal with a refugee influx that has spilled over into the 28-member bloc.

The French leader said Sunday that any funds of a 3 billion euros ($3.2 billion) EU package to help Turkey deal with the migrants on its territory will be released progressively as Turkish commitments are checked.

Hollande also said verification measures need to be in place to check those coming through Turkey, because some "terrorists" have infiltrated the refugee flow.

Hollande cut out early from an EU-Turkey summit to head home Sunday for a meeting with China's president ahead of the Paris climate conference starting a day later.

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5:25 p.m.

Britain's Prime Minster David Cameron says the EU summit with Turkey in Brussels matters because the migrant crisis in Europe will not be solved without Ankara and that "a comprehensive solution" is needed.

Cameron said much of the discussions at the summit Sunday would focus on Europe's no-borders zone and that Britain would continue to keep its "vital" border controls.

He said: "Britain will continue to play our role, which is about supporting Syrian refugees in the refugee camps and in Turkey."

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3.50 p.m.

Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu says the country's summit with European Union leaders marks a new beginning in relations between the two parties.

Davutoglu says the summit Sunday would make for a sea change in relations, even if EU leaders are specifically looking for more help from Ankara to deal with the refugee crisis.

"Together, we will be sharing the destiny of our continent," he said on his arrival.

"I am thankful to all European leaders for this new beginning, which is not just a beginning of a meeting but the beginning of a new process, which is very important for the future of our common bond in Europe," he said.

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3:30 p.m.

Belgium's prime minister says Turkey cannot receive a "blank check" from the EU to help it handle roughly 2 million Syrian refugees in the country.

Charles Michel spoke to reporters Sunday ahead of a European Union summit with Turkey focusing on hundreds of thousands of Syrian, Afghan, Iraqi and other migrants streaming into the bloc.

Europe's leaders were expected to offer Turkey 3 billion euros ($3.2 billion), easing of visa restrictions and fast-tracking of its EU membership process.

Michel says he isn't ready to free up Belgian money and encouraged Ankara to give Syrians greater access to Turkey's labor market.

Turkey has long sought to join the bloc. Michel said Turkey is "far away from membership" and "there is much progress that needs to be done"

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2:50 p.m.

EU President Donald Tusk is warning that any deal with Turkey at a summit in Brussels will not solve the migrant issue overnight.

Walking into the EU-Turkey meeting of government leaders Sunday, Tusk said that beyond getting a deal with Ankara, the most important issue "is our responsibility and duty to protect our external borders. We cannot outsource this obligation to any third country."

At the emergency summit, EU leaders will look to offer Turkey 3 billion euros ($3.2 billion), an easing of visa restrictions and the fast-tracking of its EU membership process in return for tightening border security and taking back some migrants who don't qualify for asylum.

Tusk said that if the migrant crisis cannot be contained, the continent's vaunted Schengen system of borderless travel could collapse. "I will repeat this again: without control on our external borders, Schengen will become history," he said.

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This story has been corrected to show Cameron said Britain, not Turkey, would continue to keep its border controls.