Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu is due in Athens Friday to discuss the refugee crisis with his Greek counterpart Nikos Kotzias as Athens continues to feel that Ankara is not making enough of an effort to stop the flow of migrants crossing the Aegean.
The two men are due to meet at 2 p.m. to discuss the latest developments and prepare the ground for Tuesday’s Greek-Turkish High-Level Cooperation Council meeting in Smyrna, which prime ministers Alexis Tsipras and Ahmet Davutoglu are due to attend.
The Greek government’s skepticism ahead of the meetings was emphasized during a phone call Thursday between Tsipras and his Turkish counterpart. Sources said that Tsipras expressed doubts about the usefulness of Tuesday’s summit if Turkey does not take action to stop refugees and migrants from reaching its western shores.
According to Greek government sources, Davutoglu assured Tsipras that Ankara would take action and that it would contribute positively to Monday’s refugee crisis summit in Brussels.
During a cabinet meeting Thursday, Defense Minister Panos Kammenos told the prime minister that the German and Canadian vessels patrolling the Aegean between Lesvos and Icaria as part of a NATO mission have informed the Turkish coast guard 30 times about dinghies carrying migrants setting off from the neighboring country but the authority only acted three of these times.
Senior NATO officials arrived in Athens Thursday after meetings in Turkey to discuss the Aegean patrols. They are due to meet Greek armed forces and navy chiefs Friday.