The Dutch plan to send asylum seekers who arrive on the Greek islands in small boats back to Turkey by ferry does not meet the UN treaty on the treatment of refugees, according to EU officials.

A spokesman for European commission chairman Jean-Claude Juncker described the plan as 'illegal' and said that the 'EU does not get involved in pushing refugees back'.

Former European commissioner Karel De Gucht told Belgian radio the plan is 'unrealistic'. In addition, Turkey does not meet the criteria as a safe country for all categories of refugees, the Dutch refugee organisation Vluchtelingenwerk said.

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