Minister points finger at Turkey over sunken dingy

Minister points finger at Turkey over sunken dingy

Amid a search operation for three people who went missing after a rubber dinghy carrying migrants apparently sank along the maritime border between Lesvos and the Turkish coast, Greek Migration Minister Notis Mitarakis Friday blamed Turkey, saying that it allowed a boat with 13 people to leave its waters in violation of its obligations outlined in its 2016 joint statement with the European Union.

Ten people have been rescued in the operation, which involves Greek coast guard and EU Frontex vessels. Speaking in Parliament Friday, Mitarakis said that Turkey did not rescue the migrants when the dinghy was in its territorial waters and that Greece’s coast guard had to enter Turkish territorial waters to rescue the 10 passengers.

He stressed that the 2016 agreement stipulates that Turkey stops illegal departures from its territorial waters and accepts the return of those deemed to be illegal economic migrants, not entitled to international protection.

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