Greece and Europe want to cooperate with Turkey on migration but not with blackmail, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in a joint press conference with Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz after their Tuesday meeting in Vienna.
He said that the tension at the Evros region needs to de-escalate. Arrivals of migrants from Turkey by sea have dropped to zero these past few days, Mitsotakis noted, exclaiming, "I hope it continues, because it will be proof that Turkey complies."
Mitsotakis said that Turkey is obliged to contain migration flows under the EU-Turkey joint statement and thanked Austrian humanitarian aid to migrants.
"The personnel and technical means that you offered will help to prevent any attempt to enter the border from Turkey," he said
On his side, Kurz thanked Mitsotakis for his "efforts to make Greece attractive for investments," and said that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan "abuses refugees and migrants who have lived in Turkey for years, exploits them and uses them as a weapon" against the EU.
"I am grateful that Greece and the Greek government are protecting the Greek and European borders," he emphasized.
On Greek-Austrian economic relations, Mitsotakis said "we can do more," and cited tourism. "Over 500,000 Austrians visit our country in both winter and summer," he noted.
He also referred to the historical ties between Greece and Austria. "The relations of our countries go back centuries," he said, and in his final comment highlighted that the ambition of both leaders, who are also members of the European People's Party, "is to face the future confidently, by seizing opportunities."