‘Misled’ migrants at border could have destabilizing effect, US official says


US Special Envoy to the Western Balkans, Matthew Palmer, on Saturday defended Greece’s right to secure its land border with Turkey, while warning against the destabilizing effect of “misled” migrants seeking to cross into the EU.

“The United States… finds the current situation to be unsustainable, unacceptable,” Palmer said during a visit at Greece’s Alexandroupoli Port.

“The uncontrolled movement of thousands of people who have been misled into believing that the road to Europe is open is fundamentally destabilizing, it’s unsustainable. It needs to change,” he said.

Palmer was optimistic that the recent ceasefire agreement between Russia and Turkey in Syria’s Idlib region would defuse some of the tension.

Asked about whether Greece needed to impose additional security measures on its border, Palmer said, “we support – as the President has made absolutely clear – Greece’s right to defend its borders.”

“I, personally, have been impressed with the professionalism of the Greek security services along the border, the way that they’ve handled themselves, the way that they’ve dealt with a very challenging set of circumstances,” he said.

“Greece has our support in terms of what it is that it’s doing both here, in Evros, and in the Aegean to ensure border security.”