Greece does not want to become the gateway to the European Union for Afghans fleeing the escalating conflict in their homeland, Migration Minister Notis Mitarachi said on Tuesday, calling for a common EU response to the crisis.
Greece was on the frontline of the European migration crisis in 2015, when nearly a million people displaced from the conflict in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan landed on its islands, and like other EU Member States, it is nervous that developments in Afghanistan could cause a repeat of that crisis.
“We are clearly saying that we will not and cannot be the gateway to Europe for the refugees and migrants who might try to come to the European Union,” Mitarachi told state television ERT.
“We cannot allow millions of people to leave Afghanistan and come to the European Union…and certainly not through Greece,” he said.
EU foreign ministers are holding a crisis meeting on Tuesday to discuss Afghanistan’s fall to the Taliban and Greece has requested that the issue also be discussed at a meeting of EU interior ministers on Wednesday.
“The solution must be common, and it must be a European solution,” Mitarachi said. Unity between EU member states on whether or not to deport rejected Afghan asylum seekers crumbled last week.
(This story was not edited by NewsMadura staff and was generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)