NEWS

Greek PM turns his focus to Turkey and migration

COSTIS P. PAPADIOCHOS

TAGS: Politics

Having achieved the government’s aim to seek a broad consensus over its pick for Greece’s next president, Katerina Sakellaropoulou, Prime Minster Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ focus has shifted to Greek-Turkish relations, with an eye on Libya and migration.

With regard to Libya, the government believes that it managed to refute the idea that it was left out of developments due to its absence from Sunday’s Berlin conference.

This was, Athens believes, helped by the arrival of Libyan National Army Commander Khalifa Haftar in Greece on Friday just two days before the conference.

Moreover, government officials have interpreted the derision of pro-government Turkish media – which back the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord – as a sign that the commander went to Sunday's conference with a stronger hand.

Athens also sees the fact that Haftar has expressed his opposition to the maritime border accord signed between Ankara and the Tripoli-based government, which violates Greek sovereignty, as significant.

At the same time, aides to the PM are apparently dismayed by the overall stance of the German chancellor, who they say is being pressured not to rock the boat with Ankara due to mounting concerns stemming from the migration problem.

Mitsotakis also expressed his intent to do “what is necessary” if Turkey acts on the pledge by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to launch seismic research in areas outlined in the Turkey-Libya accord in 2020.

As for migration, the government showed its determination last week to tackle the issue head-on with its decision to reintroduce the Asylum and Migration Ministry which had originally been scrapped last summer.

The ministry will oversee the creation of new shelters, and work on reviewing the Dublin Agreement and border controls.

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