US President expressed his support for Greece on Monday over the border crisis inflamed by Turkey during a telephone briefing with President Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
The conversation was announced by the Greek PM’s office on Monday.
”Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis spoke today with US President Donald Trump, and briefed him on the situation at the Greek-Turkish land and sea borders, stressing our country’s inalienable right to defend its borders.”
”President Trump has recognised Greece’s right to impose its legislation on its borders,” the statement concluded.
Meanwhile, the Greek government issued a series of clarifications concerning the decisions announced by the Government Council on National Security (KYSEA) following its meeting on Sunday, explaining what was meant by “maximum deterrence” and why asylum applications were being suspended for one month.
According to the briefing, patrols and surveillance flights along the border in Evros will be carried out with greater frequency and the troops stationed there will be reinforced with additional military units from various parts of the country. In the Aegean, the coast guard and Navy units will also be reinforced and carry out additional patrols.
Concerning the decision to stop accepting asylum applications, the government repeated that Greece was faced with an “active, serious, exceptional and asymmetric threat,” that appeared to be orchestrated by Turkey, with gathered individuals attempting to forcibly and illegally enter Greek territory.
“The country has a constitutional obligation to protect its borders and preserve its integrity, using any means necessary. The Greek borders are also the external borders of the European Union and their protection secures the interests of all EU member-states. The emergency conditions that have arisen at the border, in any case make the examination of asylum applications – a strictly individual process – impossible,” the announcement said.
More than 24,000 attempts to cross border have been prevented since Saturday.
According to the latest briefing by government sources, a total of 4,354 individuals were prevented from illegally entering Greek territory in the Evros region between 6:00 and 18:00 on Monday. Authorities also arrested 42 illegal migrants in the area, most of them from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Morocco.
The total number of illegal entries averted between 6:00 on Saturday and Monday evening was 24,303, while 183 people were arrested and taken to detention centres for migrants, while those convicted of illegally entering Greece were taken to prisons.
Those tried for illegally entering Greece on Monday were sentenced to four years imprisonment without suspension for appeal and fined 10,000 euros each.
On Tuesday Mitsotakis will be visiting the border region of Evros. He will be accompanied by the leaders of the European Union’s top three institutions – European Council President Charles Michel, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Parliament President David Sassoli.
This post was last modified on March 3, 2020 10:01 am