PM Mitsotakis to Turkey: Be cautious when referring to Greece

29 October 2019
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Speaking at the 4th EU-Arab World Summit at the Megaron (The Athens Concert Hall), PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis issued a clear warning to Turkey to refrain from adopting provocative rhetoric and unfounded accusations against Greece over the supposed mistreatment of refugees and migrants trying to enter Greece from the coastline of Turkey.

The Turkish Foreign Minister had made unsubstantiated accusations that coast guard was firing against boats carrying migrants, while going as far to say that some migrants fell victims of abduction.

“The coast guard has saved thousands of lives at sea and is at the same time responsible for guarding the border and under this government those duties will upheld in their entirety. Those who used the migrant crisis as a tool for their own purposes should be more cautious when referring to Greece,” the prime minister said.

On the occasion of the migration crisis, Mitsotakis once again focused on Turkey’s practices to challenge decades worth of data and “raise unacceptable claims regarding both the Cyprus EEZ and its behaviour in the Aegean”.

“It would be a good idea (for Turkey) not to further charge the sensitive area of the SE Mediterranean and follow the course of international law” said Mitsotakis.

The Greek PM added emphasised that “my country has been receiving asymmetric flows in relation to its population in recent months. The islands are suffocating, while inland hosting structures are starting to face the first problems.”

“We control our borders and we always take care of those fleeing from around the world, but one country cannot shoulder the burdens of three continents,” the PM said.

“More coordination between Europeans and Arabs is needed to address the causes. There is a need for serious reinforcement in the countries of origin and transit of refugees, the need to tackle human trafficking circuits in order to stop the Aegean refugees and migrants becoming a lever of ulterior motives.”

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