Amid mounting concerns about growing numbers of irregular migrants arriving on the Aegean islands from the Turkish coast, Alternate Minister for Migration Giorgos Koumoutsakos told Parliament on Friday that Greece faces "a new period that could bring a possible resurgence of the migration and refugee problem."
Migration minister Giorgos Koumoutsakos is visiting Ankara on Thursday to discuss the recent spike in migrant arrivals on the Greek islands with Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu.
The two ministers will focus on the implementation of the 2016 EU-Turkey Declaration, according to a press release.
Greece's migration minister on Friday urged the incoming European Commission to renew a funding commitment to Turkey to stop migrants reaching the European Union.
Giorgos Koumoutsakos told The Associated Press in an interview that Athens would also welcome an enhanced NATO presence and tougher international patrolling off Greek islands where arrivals have spiked in recent weeks.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (r) and Greece's Nikos Dendias take questions from reporters Monday following talks in Berlin. Maas praised the steps taken by Greek authorities to address the migration problem and urged Ankara to honor an agreement for migrant returns that it signed with the European Union in 2016.
The Greek government is deeply concerned over the reported 17 percent increase in migrant and refugee arrivals in recent weeks, says Alternate Minister for Citizens' Protection Giorgos Koumoutsakos, who is responsible for Greece's migration policy, in an interview with Kathimerini. More than 20,000 people are currently stranded on the Greek islands of Lesvos, Samos, Chios, Kos and Leros.