Amid fresh concerns of a possible attempt by Turkey to push migrants into Europe through Greece, and the escalating tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean, Josep Borrell, the bloc’s foreign policy chief visited Greece on Wednesday.
Accompanied by the country’s Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias, the EU’s High Representative visited the Greek-Turkish border in Kastanies, Evros, where, in January, the two sides were clashing over the vast migrant flows getting pushed into Greek borders by the neighbouring Turkey.
“Greek concerns identify with the concerns of the EU … It is clear that we are determined to protect the EU’s external borders and to strongly support Greece’s sovereignty,” the bloc’s foreign policy chief said.
He added that is in the interest of both Turkey, Greece and the EU as well, “to try to solve the current difficulties and improve the current relations”.
Dendias had previously stated that although Greece was “open to dialogue”was “open to dialogue,” it is not prepared to discuss under coercion or “help legitimize Turkey’s persistent violations of legality.”
Borrell, who also held talks with the country’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, is set to fly to Cyprus from Athens, and will hold meetings on June 25 and 26 on Ankara’s illegal drilling within the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and continental shelf of Cyprus, and on Brussels’ future relationship with Turkey.
The two visits come ahead of the EU Foreign Affairs Council, scheduled for July 13.
— Υπουργείο Εξωτερικών (@GreeceMFA) June 24, 2020