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PACE President, ahead of debates on migration and asylum: ‘They are still dying out there’

“In April 2015, the world was horrified by the catastrophic loss of life during a single incident of a vessel capsizing in the Mediterranean Sea. Almost a year to the day, the horror continues: there are unconfirmed reports emerging that a boat carrying up to 400 mainly Somali migrants capsized after leaving Egypt, with heavy loss of life.

This would seem to be one more in a tragic succession of drowning incidents which we cannot turn our back on.

Tomorrow, here in Strasbourg, we will hear from two of the architects of the EU-Turkey migrant deal, Jean-Claude Juncker and Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. We will be listening closely to what they have to say, and putting questions to them before looking at the human rights aspects of the deal – and Europe’s response in general to the migrant and refugee crisis – in a major series of debates on Wednesday.

This Assembly has long focused on the humanitarian aspect of these mass movements by desperate people, and we will continue to do so. They are still dying out there. We must do everything in our power to stop this.”