NEWS

Greece, Germany, Turkey set to discuss refugees

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Preparations for a trilateral meeting between Greece, Germany and Turkey to discuss how to handle the refugee crisis appear to be under way.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu revealed earlier this week, when Greek Premier Alexis Tsipras visited Ankara, that German Chancellor Angela Merkel had suggested such a meeting take place. This was confirmed on Friday by officials in Berlin.

“The three have spoken about this and they agree that it would be useful to hold such a meeting,” said German government spokesman Steffen Seibert. However, he added that Berlin is not yet in a position to say when or where such talks would take place.

Greek diplomatic sources told Kathimerini that Davutoglu had first referred to the German proposal for a meeting between the three leaders at the end of September, when he and Tsipras held talks in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.

Sources in Athens also said that certain conditions would have to be in place for Greece to agree to a tripartite meeting with Germany.

The first is for the potential benefits from such a gathering to be clearly defined before the meeting takes place.

Also, the Greek government wants to ensure that the talks should not take place independently of the ongoing negotiations between the European Union and Ankara over the flow of refugees from Turkish territory.

Germany has been calling over the last few weeks for closer cooperation between Greece and Turkey in monitoring the Aegean but Athens has ruled out joint coast guard patrols.