FM Dendias: Turkey must meet its commitments and EU must do its part

Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, in an interview with ANT1 on Monday referring to the migration issue, said that Turkey must meet its commitments toward the international community, while the EU member-states must also assume their share of the burden in dealing with this problem.

“We ask the Turks to be exceedingly serious in this matter and to not permit – I could say encourage – what is happening … The only thing that can be justified is the protection of refugees,” said Dendias.

He said that the government will improve its overall system for managing migration and refugee flows, including the return of migrants not eligible for asylum where they came from.
“In other words, those that do not qualify for the protection mandated by international law will return to their homes – with dignity, with respect for their rights but they have no right to be in Greece and in Europe,” he said.

He noted that Greece must improve its current procedures for processing asylum applications and pointed to the need for a uniform EU system for asylum.

Referring to Turkey, the Greek foreign minister said that the government believes it must have open channels of communication with Turkey, despite the problems. “This does not mean we waive our national interests….we want Turkey to follow a European policy, to follow a policy that respects human rights and to develop its society so that we finally become more than just neighbours but also close partners and friends,” Dendias added.