EU rejects Turkey’s use of migrants for ‘political purposes’: foreign ministers
ZAGREB: Turkey’s decision to open its border with Greece to migrants, ignoring its 2016 migration deal with the European Union, is not acceptable and any such political pressure will be rejected, EU foreign ministers said on Friday.
“The EU reiterates its serious concern over the situation at the Greek-Turkish border and strongly rejects Turkey’s use of migratory pressure for political purposes,” the ministers said in a statement after a meeting in Zagreb.
“This situation at the EU external border is not acceptable,” they said, also telling Ankara: “Migrants should not be encouraged to attempt illegal crossings by land or sea.”
Migrants at Turkey-Greece border lose hope
When Sawsan al-Musawa heard last week that President Tayyip Erdogan had opened Turkey’s borders for migrants to cross into Europe, the Syrian mother of four left a refugee camp in eastern Turkey and headed west to the Greek border.
Six days later, Musawa and her children, including two sons with cerebral palsy, were camping at a bus station in the border city of Edirne, tired, frustrated, and angry as their dream of a new life in Europe came to an abrupt end at the EU frontier.
“Why did he (Erdogan) do this to us if he knew Greece won’t let us cross?” she asked, sitting on a rug near a pile of bags full of clothes and diapers for her sons, aged 13 and 7, who lay on the ground making jittery movements and looking scared.
Thousand of migrants from Syria, Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan and Africa are camped out along a stretch of the border between Turkey and Greece, two NATO allies whose relations – never easy – have been further strained by the migrant crisis.
Now, many migrants are confused and unsure what to do. – Reuters