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Deal On EU Migrant Crisis Struck

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Deal On EU Migrant Crisis Struck

European Union leaders have averted the collapse of a key summit with a deal struck on migration in the early hours of Friday which could see the burden of resettling refugees shared more widely among member states.

After marathon talks, EU leaders agreed – but only on a voluntary basis – to set up "controlled" migrant processing centers that would swiftly distinguish between genuine asylum seekers and "irregular migrants, who will be returned," report the BBC and CNN.

Resettlement of genuine refugees would also take place on a voluntary basis.

Italy – the entry point for thousands of migrants, mainly from Africa – had threatened to veto the summit's entire agenda if it did not receive help on the migrant issue.

However, the deal was thin on detail about how this would work or which countries would take in asylum seekers.

The EU will also look into setting up migration centers in countries outside Europe, according to the European Council. These are likely to be in North African countries, with the aim of breaking the business model of human traffickers who ship migrants across the sea to Europe.

The meeting of European leaders, intended to focus on Brexit, was dominated by the issue of how to deal with the arrival of boatloads of desperate migrants attempting to cross into European waters.

Image credit: Getty Images