Pavlopoulos: Turkey must respect its agreement with the EU on migration

Turkey must respect its agreement with the European Union on migration, as well as the readmission agreement, Greek President of Republic Prokopios Pavlopoulos noted on Thursday.

Meeting the Director General of the European Commission’s Structural Reform Support Service Maarten Verwey, who is currently visiting Athens, Pavlopoulos noted that both issues were linked not only to the commitments undertaken by Turkey but also to the way it meets its obligations as a candidate-member of the EU.

Pavlopoulos underlined the increase in refugee flows, particularly from the Evros river on the land border with Turkey, noting that Greece is now called upon to handle an issue that concerns the EU as a whole. The EU should focus on ensuring the implementation of the readmission agreement, he added.

“Greece has proved that it fully abides by its obligations and does what it should as a member-state of the EU and this is something that several of our partners must realise,” said the Greek President.

On his part, Verwey thanked President Pavlopoulos for the meeting, underlining that the refugee crisis was an issue that concerns both Greece and Europe, which must contribute to the effort to address the problem. He noted that the European Commission will continue to support Greece at this difficult time.

Migration Policy Ministry Dimitris Vitsas was also present at the meeting.