Kyr. Mitsotakis: The final solution to the refugee and migrant crisis facing Europe lies in Turkey

The final solution to the refugee and migrant crisis facing Europe lies in Turkey and cooperation between the EU and the neighboring country is crucial in resolving the issue, New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Wednesday after a meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels.

“Cooperation with Turkey must reach a point where it can effectively manage refugee and migration flows. The final solution to the problem lies with Turkey and only through an honest dialog between the EU and Turkey can the problem be dealt with in its current dimension,” Mitsotakis told journalists after the meeting.

According to sources, the two officials agreed that closing Greece’s northern borders will not resolve the refugee problem. “I reiterated to Juncker our consistent view that the closure of the northern border will not resolve the refugee problem,” he said adding that despite initial delays, there is significant progress in fulfilling Greece’s commitments towards the EU.

“But the refugee problem will not be resolved simply with the construction of hotspots. Europe must also fulfill its commitments, especially regarding the relocation of refugees from Greece to European countries,” he added.

The refugee issue dominated a meeting between Kyriakos Mitsotakis and the president of the European Parliament Martin Schulz on Wednesday in Brussels.

Mitsotakis underlined that Greece‘s northern borders should not close and Schulz shared the same view saying that this is not the solution to the problem. The leader of the main opposition stated that everyone in Europe must understand that Greece alone cannot solve the refugee problem as it also bears the burden of the economic crisis.

On his part, Schulz stressed the importance of supporting Greece, but as he said, Greece should show signs that it does its best to meet its commitments.

Both officials agreed on the key role that Turkey plays in the migration issue. However, they said that the cooperation with the European Union falls short of the expectations and its commitments.