FM Gerapetritis meets Asselborn, calls for European strategy on migration
Πηγή Φωτογραφίας: Συνάντηση του Υπουργού Εξωτερικών Γιώργου Γεραπετρίτη με τον Υπουργό Εξωτερικών του Λουξεμβούργου, Jean Asselborn. Τετάρτη 13 Σεπτεμβρίου 2023 (ΣΩΤΗΡΗΣ ΔΗΜΗΤΡΟΠΟΥΛΟΣ / EUROKINISSI)
Foreign Minister George Gerapetritis emphasised the need for a European strategy on migration issues that will distribute the burden equally between the EU Member-States, based on the principles of solidarity, in statements on Wednesday after meeting Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn, who is visiting Athens on the occasion of the 90th anniversary since Greece and Luxembourg established diplomatic relations.
Gerapetritis noted that Greece is on the front line of migration, due to its geographical position, and bears a disproportionate share of the migration burden. He noted that migration and refugee flows will not stop as wars and inequality will always encourage the movement of populations seeking safety and a better future.
While Greece had achieved much in terms managing migration flows, he added, no country could handle this problem unaided. He said European policy on this issue should be based on three areas: supervising European borders to fight migrant trafficking, ensuring returns in cases not eligible for humanitarian protection and ensuring that there were legal routes for migration. “Greece, like the other countries of Europe, has need of working hands and therefore, to ensure that there are legal and controlled routes weakens traffickers and illegal circuits,” he pointed out. Asselborn, on his part, expressed support for Greece in the aftermath of the devastating fires and floods. He commented on relations with Turkiye, saying he had discussed a recent meeting with the Turkish foreign minister with Gerapetritis and noted that the effort for rapprochement was “exceptionally important for all the EU, bilateral relations and so there is calm in the Aegean.” “There is, however, a message that we must send to the Turks that there can be no progress if Turkiye does not respect the fundamental rules of law and human rights,” he said.
Regarding EU enlargement, he noted that the Balkans were “the back garden of Europe, not of Saudi Arabia or Russia, nor of Turkiye or of China.” Balkan countries should be encouraged to do everything possible to join the EU, he added.
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