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Open the gates to migrants, Erdogan tells Greece before EU talks

Issued on: 08/03/2020 – 18:52Modified: 08/03/2020 – 18:52

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan s..

By admin , in Health , at March 8, 2020

Issued on: Modified:

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he will hold talks in Brussels Monday as he called on Greece to "open the gates" for migrants at Turkey's border trying to get to Europe.


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Amid tensions at the Turkey-Greece land border – where thousands of migrants have massed after Turkish authorities announced they would no longer prevent them from crossing into the EU – Erdogan said he would use Mondays meeting to discuss “different outcomes” with Brussels.

In a televised address to the nation Sunday, Erdogan urged Greece to open its border after clashes in recent days between migrants and Greek police.

"Hey Greece! I appeal to you … open the gates as well and be free of this burden," he said, adding: "Let them go to other European countries."

Erdogan will meet European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in Brussels at 6pm local time (1700 GMT) on Monday.

Turkey has repeatedly railed against what it describes as unfair burden-sharing, since around four million mostly Syrian refugees live in Turkey.

In 2016, Turkey and the EU agreed to a deal whereby Brussels would provide billions of euros in aid in exchange for Turkish authorities curbing the flow of migrants into the bloc, but Ankara has repeatedly accused the EU of not fulfilling promises made.

Erdogan's top press aide Fahrettin Altun has said one of the unmet conditions was that the EU would take in refugees from Turkey.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell and Michel met Erdogan in Ankara on Wednesday as Turkey demanded greater support over the conflict and migrants.

After the talks, Borrell promised an additional €170 million ($192 million) in aid for vulnerable groups in Syria.

Fire damages migrant shelter on Greeces Lesbos

As the standoff between Turkey and Greece intensified, a fire broke out at a refugee center on the Greek island of Lesbos, Greece's firefighting service said Sunday, causing considerable damage to a warehouse but no injuries.

It was the second fire at an installation built for migrants, after a reception center was burned down by unknown perpetrators last week. The warehouse, which contained furniture and electrical appliances, was completely destroyed, according to Greek firefighters.

Greece has deployed riot police and border guards to repel people trying to enter the country and the Greek border area has since seen violent confrontations between them and the migrants. On Saturday, youths threw rocks at Greek police and tried to break down a border fence.

Cyprus to send security forces to Greece-Turkey borderRead More – Source