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UN Children’s Fund (Unicef) urges Turkey not to use children, refugees as bargaining chips in its latest dispute with European Union

Geneva, March 18, 2017: The UN Children’s Fund (Unicef) urged Turkey on Friday not to use children, refugees and undocumented migrants as bargaining chips in its latest dispute with the EU, after Ankara threatened again to break the migration agreement.

Unicef humanitarian affairs adviser Lucio Melandri, told a news conference that children should never be used as bargaining chips, and refugees and migrants should not be manipulated for political reasons, Efe news reported.

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Melandri said he was aware of the situation in Turkey, which is home to 3 million Syrian refugees, adding that Unicef does not take a political stance, but asks all parties to consider the protection of children.

Turkey repeatedly threatened the EU to suspend the agreement, closed in March 2016, by which it agreed to receive refugees arriving in Greece from their country, in exchange for economic aid and visa exemptions for its citizens.

The threats have risen sharply since Germany and Holland vetoed the campaign rallies of Turkish ministers in their territories, to support the constitutional reform that would hand over all executive power in Turkey to the president. (IANS)

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