EU pushes for 'leverage' with Africa to curb migrants

Refugees and migrants wait to be rescued by members of Proactiva Open Arms NGO in the Mediterranean Sea, some 12 nautical miles north of LibyaEU leaders called Thursday for greater efforts to apply the “leverage” of trade and development with Africa in order to curb migrant departures to Europe and speed up the return of those who arrive. The European Union has been turning its sights on the central Mediterranean route from Libya to Italy since a March aid-for-cooperation deal with Turkey dramatically slowed the number of migrants landing in Greece, the main entry point for Europe last year. Adopting a statement at their Brussels summit, the leaders urged EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini to present a report at the next summit in December on how much progress has been made with five African countries toward reducing migrant arrivals and increasing returns.

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