Greece seeks EU-Turkey migration deal expansion: minister


Greece in December will seek the renewal of a 2016 migration deal between the EU and Turkey, the Greek migration minister said Saturday, Agence France-Presse reported.

“We want an agreement. The climate is positive,” migration minister Dimitris Kairidis told state TV ERT.

“The agreement will be mainly Euro-Turkish. This is a Euro-Turkish problem,” Kairidis said.

The aim is to amend and “expand” the 2016 agreement “with Greece’s initiative, because we have the more immediate interest” as a frontline migration state, the minister said.

The issue is expected to be discussed at a December 7 meeting between senior Greek and Turkish officials in Thessaloniki.

The breakthrough reportedly came following a New York meeting between Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan this week.

Alongside neighboring Italy, Greece has seen a spike in migrant arrivals this year.

According to ministry figures, over 18,000 people arrived in the first eight months of the year, an increase of 106 percent compared to 2022.

The existing EU-Turkey migration deal allows for irregular migrants reaching the Greek islands to be returned to Turkey in exchange for aid.

Both Greece and Turkey have accused the other of failing to honor the agreement, which was sealed after more than a million migrants and asylum seekers entered the EU in 2015.

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