Minister of Migration and Asylum: New refugee agreement with Türkiye must be signed
Greek Immigration and Asylum Minister Dimitris Keridis told the German daily Bild on Saturday that a new refugee deal with Türkiye was necessary due to the increase in the number of migrants reaching Greece.
"We are protecting our northern borders as much as we can," he said, adding that the agreement should be led by Berlin. But we need to act together on the source of the problem. The main source is Türkiye. And here Germany's weight is really big and important," he said.
The Minister recalled that Germany has close and multifaceted relations with Türkiye.
"We want Berlin to use its influence to the benefit of all, so that Türkiye can negotiate a sincere agreement that will try to rebuild its relations with the West and Europe," the Greek minister said, adding that Turks living in Europe are listening to Berlin rather than other capitals.
"TÜRKİYE PLAYS A KEY ROLE IN IRREGULAR MIGRATION"
Stating that Türkiye is a key country in irregular migration as it controls the Eastern Mediterranean route of migrants, the Minister said that a new agreement is therefore essential.
"We want to develop better co-operation with Türkiye, especially on migration. I believe that we can better fight against irregular migration together," Keridis said:
"With the cheap flight tickets provided by Turkish Airlines, it is very easy to go to Türkiye from third countries without visa problems. From Istanbul Airport, they come by land or sea to the Greek border. We are trying to convince our Turkish counterparts that this is very 'destructive' and 'inefficient'."
"TÜRKİYE IS NOT IMPLEMENTING THE REFUGEE DEAL"
He stated that the clause in the agreement that "all new irregular migrants crossing from Türkiye to the Greek islands will be returned to Türkiye" has not been implemented "on the grounds of Covid-19 measures since 2020".
The number of migrants trying to reach Greece via Türkiye has increased significantly recently.
This number was recorded as 18,700 during 2022.