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EU should support Turkey ahead of Afghan migrant influx, Greece says

Greek Minister of Migration and Asylum Notis Mitarachi holds a press conference after his meeting with EU commissioner for Home Affairs at the EU headquarters in Brussels on 9 June 2021. [JOHN THYS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images]
Greek Minister of Migration and Asylum Notis Mitarachi holds a press conference after his meeting with EU commissioner for Home Affairs at the EU headquarters in Brussels on 9 June 2021. [JOHN THYS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images]

Greek Migration Minister Notis Mitarachi said yesterday that the EU should offer more support to help Turkey mitigate the pressures of more migrant arrivals from Afghanistan as the bloc could not absorb another crisis such as the one faced in 2015, Reuters reports.

Mitarachi said the EU is not ready and does not have the capacity to handle another major migration crisis.

"It would lead to more people trying to leave and come to the EU," Mitarachi said.

Greece has been pushing EU countries for support over a proposed overhaul of EU migration rules. While EU funds are easing some of the burden, there is a lack of solidarity, Mitarachi said.

"We are concerned about the implications of the deterioration in Afghanistan, and that's why it is very critical and very important for the EU to be proactive in preventing such a crisis," Mitarachi said.

Many EU member states are worried that the developments in Afghanistan could trigger a replay of Europe's migration crisis in 2015.

Greece was the frontline of the crisis, when a million refugees from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan landed on its coast after passing through Turkey.

In June, Greece issued a decision designating Turkey a "safe country" for asylum-seekers from those countries, making it harder for their asylum requests to be approved.

Turkey has been hosting the largest population of refugees and immigrants under temporary and international protection since 2015.

READ: Dispelling the myths about refugees in Europe

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AfghanistanAsia & AmericasEUEurope & RussiaGreeceNewsTurkey
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