EU border chief says migrant entries from Turkey on the rise




  • In World
  • 2020-01-17 13:17:28Z
  • By Associated Press
Greece Daily Life
Greece Daily Life  

BRUSSELS (AP) - The number of migrants entering Europe from Turkey rose significantly last year as people fleeing strife in Syria and Afghanistan flooded into the country and then set out for Greece, the head of the European Union's border agency said Friday.

More than 82,000 migrants tried to enter Europe without authorization in 2019, an increase of 46% over the previous year, Frontex Executive Director Fabrice Leggeri said in Brussels.

"This was mainly due to the situation in Syria, but also instability in Afghanistan, and changing policies towards Afghan nationals by Iranian and Pakistani authorities," Leggeri told reporters. He refused to blame the Turkish coast guard, saying it is "working well" to intercept people who leave.

The EU agreed in 2016 to give Turkey up to 6 billion euros ($6.6 billion) in Syrian refugee aid money and other incentives to persuade the government in Ankara to stop migrants leaving for Greece. But since last summer, Greece's eastern islands have struggled to ease severe overcrowding at refugee camps.

Frontex said the number of arrivals last year was the highest since the EU-Turkey deal came into force.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that his country cannot shoulder the burden of hosting 3.6 million Syrian refugees alone and has in the past threatened to "open the gates" for migrants to head for Europe. He is seeking more EU money and the Europeans appear likely to acquiesce.

Ankara also sought EU political and financial help in setting up a safe area in northern Syria, where people fleeing the conflict could take refuge or be sent to from Turkey, but the Europeans are reluctant to get involved.

COMMENTS

More Related News

Syrian war pulls in major foreign actors, increasing tension
Syrian war pulls in major foreign actors, increasing tension
  • World
  • 2020-02-21 18:34:41Z

In northern Syria, heavy exchanges between Syrian and Turkish troops are erupting with more frequency, threatening to escalate into full-blown conflict. U.S. troops even have had a deadly clash with Syrian gunmen at a checkpoint. Syria's civil war long has provided a free-for-all battlefield for proxy fighters.

Watchdog: Trump administration lacks strategy to fight Afghanistan
Watchdog: Trump administration lacks strategy to fight Afghanistan's dangerous heroin trade

Afghanistan is the source for 90 percent of the world's heroin, and the drug trade fuels a deadly insurgency against American troops.

New York Times Gets Blasted For Publishing Op-Ed From Taliban Deputy Leader
New York Times Gets Blasted For Publishing Op-Ed From Taliban Deputy Leader

Sirajuddin Haqqani, who is on the FBI's Most Wanted List, wrote a piece titled "What We, the Taliban, Want."

Russia opposes UN declaration calling for Syria ceasefire: diplomats
Russia opposes UN declaration calling for Syria ceasefire: diplomats

Russia on Wednesday objected to the UN Security Council adopting a statement that would have called for a ceasefire in northwest Syria, diplomats said, after a tense closed-door meeting. "We tried very hard to have a press statement calling for cessation of hostilities and humanitarian access to Idlib," Nicolas de Riviere, French ambassador to the United Nations, told reporters.

Turkey is now basically at war with Syria, thanks to Russian bombing that is driving 1 million refugees toward Europe
Turkey is now basically at war with Syria, thanks to Russian bombing that is driving 1 million refugees toward Europe

The fighting threatens to send 1 million refugees into Turkey, which has already taken in nearly four million since the Syrian war began.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: World