Afghanistan places EU, Greece on alert

Greek Migration Minister Mitarakis says Greece will not be gateway for new refugee wave

Afghanistan places EU, Greece on alert

As the EU External Action Service (EEAS) convenes an extraordinary Council on Foreign Affairs (EEAS) on Tuesday on developments in Afghanistan, the so-called Med 5 (Greece, Italy, Spain, Cyprus, Malta), the first host countries for European Union asylum seekers, called for Afghanistan to be included in the agenda of the extraordinary Home Affairs Council scheduled for Wednesday.

“It is clear that our country will not be a gateway for a new wave of refugees,” said Migration Minister Notis Mitarakis in remarks to Open TV. “We are still waiting for a very small number of arrivals,” he noted, adding, however, that “this is a dynamic” and will depend very much “on the flows to Turkey and on Turkey’s attitude.”

“We never want to see the scenes we experienced in 2015 again,” he stressed.

For his part, the leader of main opposition SYRIZA, Alexis Tsipras, said “the inevitable new refugee flows should not be shouldered once again by Greece or other first host countries” and urged the government on Monday to hold an emergency summit in the coming days. He also bemoaned the failure of the international community and the geostrategic model of Western military intervention, especially of the US.

“The only solution even now – after the withdrawal of American troops – is to promote a dynamic regional initiative under the United Nations that will include all the permanent members of the UN Security Council, the EU and neighboring countries, imposing strict diplomatic and economic conditions on the new regime in Afghanistan, especially on the issue of human rights and especially women and children,” he said.

Speaking to Skai, the senior official of center-left political alliance KINAL, Andreas Loverdos, referred to the role that Ankara will play in the crisis, as several analysts believe that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will try to show that he holds the “keys” to the region.

“Will Turkey negotiate with the European Union and the United States to keep these people there?” he asked.

Communist KKE focused its criticism on the US. “It is clear that the US intervention in 2001, carried out under the pretext of ‘fighting terrorism’ after the attacks on the Twin Towers, actually had other aims, and in particular the control of the ‘soft belly’ of Russia and China,” it said in a statement.

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