European Council chief to visit Greek-Turkish border

European Council chief to visit Greek-Turkish border

ANKARA-Anadolu Agency
European Council chief to visit Greek-Turkish border

European Council President Charles Michel attends a ceremony celebrating the 10th anniversary of the EU Lisbon treaty, in Brussels, Belgium, on Dec. 1, 2019. (REUTERS File Photo)

European Council President Charles Michel will visit the Greek-Turkish border on March 3 with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

In a Twitter post on March 1, Michel hailed Greece for its "efforts to protect" the frontiers of Europe.

"Support for Greek efforts to protect the European borders. Closely monitoring the situation on the ground. I will be visiting the Greek-Turkish border on Tuesday with @PrimeministerGR Mitsotakis," he said.

On Feb. 27, 34 Turkish soldiers were martyred and tens of others injured in an airstrike by forces of the Bashar al-Assad regime in Idlib province, a de-escalation zone in northwestern Syria just across Turkey’s southern border.

Turkish officials announced the next day that they would no longer try to stop irregular migrants from reaching Europe.

Turkey already hosts nearly four million migrants from Syria alone, more than any other country, and has complained that Europe failed to keep promises to help migrants.

Meanwhile, migrants have gathered at the Turkish-Greek border in front of the Pazarkule border point - a buffer zone surrounded by a barbed-wire barrier set up by Greek security forces.

Greek border security occasionally uses tear gas and rubber bullets to prevent migrants from entering its territory.

Some migrants have moved to border villages in order to cross via the Meriç River, while others are waiting in the buffer zone, hoping the border gate will be opened.

They often sleep in the forests in tents or even outdoors and try lighting fires to keep themselves warm.