Now that the EU has signed a tentative deal with Turkey to help it stem the flow of migrants coming from the Middle East, Brussels appears to be turning to other allies for help – including the US.
According to diplomats, the Obama administration has for months been asking for a “wish list” from the EU on ways it can help, and in recent weeks it finally got that list from the European Commission. Brussels Blog got its hands on the five-page memo, titled “Potential areas of US political and operational support on international immigration and refugee crisis”, and has posted it here. (To give credit where credit is due, our friends and rivals over at the Italian daily La Stampa got their hands on it before we did.)
The document contains few surprises, including a lot of requests for US funding. But there are a couple of “asks” that are particularly interesting. First, the Commission is seeking Washington’s help in pressuring Sunni allies in the Gulf to both help with money and with the more politically combustible issue of accepting some of the hundreds of thousands of refugees that have been fleeing Syria. Or, in the words of the document: