Greek Migration Minister Notis Mitarachi has called on the European Union to keep its promise on visa liberalization to Turkey, as he also urged Ankara to abide by the migration deal it signed with the bloc.
Mitarachi's remarks on the EU-Turkey migration deal came amid Athens' concerns on a possible new wave of refugees from Afghanistan following the deteriorating situation in the war-torn country. Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Oct. 1 that his country will not allow a repeat of the 2015 migration crisis to unfold on its borders.
The migration minister told Die Welt on Oct. 4 that they haven't observed an intense migration wave until now.
Commenting on the migration deal between Ankara and the EU, Mitarachi said that both parties should abide by the agreement, meaning that the bloc should stay loyal to its promises of visa liberalization and trade.
In return, Turkey should accept the refugees who have no right to international protection, the minister said, adding that Greece wants to send 1,908 refugees back, but Turkey doesn't accept them.
The Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan in August brought fears in Europe of a replay of 2015, when nearly 1 million asylum-seekers, mostly Syrians, fled to Europe by crossing from Turkey to Greece.
Turkey hosts some four million Syrian refugees and says it has spent more than $40 billion providing basic services but wants the EU funds to be paid directly to the government in Ankara.
Under the original migration deal in March 2016, Turkey agreed to take back all migrants and refugees who cross the Aegean to enter Greece illegally, including Syrians, in return for more funds. For its part, the EU has promised to scrap the visa requirement for Turks visiting Europe and accelerate Ankara's bid to join the bloc, although all talks have stalled.