Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Tuesday that an agreement with Turkey to take back migrants rejected by the European Union would help reduce the “unbearable flow” of people streaming into the continent.
Tsipras said the readmission agreement with Turkey “sends a clear message to migrants coming from third countries, rather than countries at war, … that there is neither the political will nor the ability to cross to Europe.
“This is the reality we ought to sincerely convey to them in order to stop, to reduce this unbearable flow for our countries,” Tsipras told a joint press conference with his Turkish counterpart, Ahmet Davutoglu, in the coastal Turkish city of Izmir.
Tsipras said the two countries would step up efforts to tackle traffickers in the Aegean Sea and would not implement “some plan imposed on us by some of our partners. We're here to solve a problem that concerns us, our values, our civilization,” he said.