Greece says migrant arrivals by sea from Turkey drop to zero
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said arrivals of migrants from Turkey by sea had dropped to zero in the past few days, Greek newspaper Kathimerini said.
Mitsotakis said he hoped that arrivals remained at zero, as it would show that Turkey is complying with its obligation to contain migration flows according to a 2016 agreement between Turkey and the European Union.
Greece and Europe want to cooperate with Turkey on migration, but would not accept Turkish attempts to blackmail the EU, said Mitsotakis in a joint press conference with Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz in Vienna on Tuesday.
Kurz said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan "abuses refugees and migrants who have lived in Turkey for years, exploits them and uses them as a weapon" against the EU.
"I am grateful that Greece and the Greek government are protecting the Greek and European borders," said Kurz.
Tensions have risen after thousands of people began massing at Turkey's border with Greece, following an announcement late last month by Turkish authorities that they would no longer intervene against migrants trying to get to Europe. The Turkish coast guard said they were instructed by a Turkish presidential order in early March to prevent migrants from attempting to cross the Aegean Sea to Greece due to unsafe conditions.
Turkey accused Greece and the EU of violating human rights and international law, after Greece suspended its asylum process and deployed violent measures against migrants on the border.