GAZIANTEP, Turkey – Barack Obama said a recent deal between the European Union and Turkey takes a step toward fairer sharing of the job of housing refugees.
But the US president was also stressing the need to uphold human rights. Many have questioned the March 20 deal, which allows the deportation back to Turkey of migrants who don’t qualify for asylum in Greece. German Chancellor Angela Merkel championed the accord. In comments to German daily Bild published Saturday, Obama praised Merkel’s “political and moral leadership” in acting on an obligation to help people fleeing horrific conditions. He said that the EU-Turkey agreement “is a step toward a more equitable way of sharing this responsibility.” Obama added: “As the agreement is implemented, it will be essential that migrants are treated properly and that human rights are upheld.”