Egypt expressed its concerns over the EU-Turkey deal related to the migrant crisis and asylum seekers, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid said in an official statement issued by the ministry on Wednesday.
Abu Zeid said that Egypt has monitored the agreement closely; it is hoped that the deal will discourage migrants from travelling to Greece from Turkey by sea. In return for making the deal, Turkey will receive concessions and aid.
Certain articles in the agreement conflict with the fundamentals of related international laws, the spokesperson said, expressing his regret that the suffering of Syrian refugees is being exploited to achieve political profits by committing violations against the principles of international laws.
It is surprising, said Abu Zeid, that Egypt is keen to receive Syrian refugees, as well as other nationalities, and provide the same standard of living as Egyptian citizens, whereas Europe in is imposing strict measurements to close its borders to refugees without any regard to their suffering and, if they are permitted entrance, they are housed in deplorable conditions.
He pointed out that according to Geneva Convention of 1951, countries that receive asylum seekers are committed to verify their status. However, the agreement violates this convention as, from 20 March, migrants who cross from Turkey to Greece will be sent back to the non-EU country without having determined whether they qualify for refugee status and deserve international protection or not.
The United Nations high commissioners for human rights and for refugees both made statements criticising the mechanisms of the EU-Turkey deal.
He concluded by saying that Egypt believes the solution to the problem of illegal immigration is to open paths to legal migration, as well as achieving fair and inclusive economic development. It is also vital reach a political solution to the existing conflicts in the region and eliminate terrorism.